Banned badger-bait­ing pair caught with dogs

Lurchers con­fis­cated in un­der­cover raid

The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - EDUCATION - By Gor­don Black­stock gblack­stock@sun­day­

A FA­THER and son banned from keep­ing an­i­mals un­til 2024 are fac­ing pos­si­ble ac­tion af­ter a num­ber of dogs were seized from them.

Author­i­ties re­moved five lurcher-type dogs from fa­ther and son duo John “Mint” Mur­ray, 60, and John Ju­nior, 37, af­ter raid­ing their home in Larkhall, La­nark­shire.

The breed is some­times used for il­le­gal hunt­ing, par­tic­u­larly foxes and bad­gers.

The Mur­rays were con­victed in 2014 of badger bait­ing.

The court heard the pair also liked to trap cats and foxes in a wheelie bin, which they then set their dogs on.

When the pair – who lived next door to each other and are re­lated to a man who killed a po­lice of­fi­cer – were found guilty, they were banned from keep­ing dogs un­til 2024 and given 250 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice.

But The Sun­day Post can re­veal po­lice and the Scot­tish SPCA moved in to seize five dogs af­ter a tip-off the Mur­rays were keep­ing dogs again.

A source said: “It’s clear the Mur­rays won’t stop keep­ing dogs de­spite what the court has told them.

“The con­vic­tion was only three years ago and there are fears they are back to their old ways.”

The dogs, seized on Au­gust 10, are now be­ing re- homed by the Scot­tish SPCA.

The an­i­mal char­ity led the orig­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the Mur­rays, lead­ing to their con­vic­tion.

Po­lice Scot­land con­firmed the Mur­rays were the sub­ject of a re­port to the procu­ra­tor fis­cal over “al­leged of­fences un­der the Pro­tec­tion of Bad­gers Act and a dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion or­der”.

A source at the Crown Of­fice said it was un­der­stood a re­port on the pair was be­ing sent to them for con­sid­er­a­tion.

An un­der­cover in­spec­tor from the Scot­tish SPCA Spe­cial In­ves­ti­ga­tions Unit said: “We were called to an ad­dress in Larkhall to as­sist Po­lice Scot­land in re­gards to males who pre­vi­ously re­ceived a ban at Hamil­ton Sher­iff Court to pre­vent them keep­ing dogs due to their in­volve­ment in badger bait­ing.

“A re­port will be sub­mit­ted by Po­lice Scot­land.”

In the same year the Mur­rays were con­victed of badger bait­ing, they also ap­peared in court where they ad­mit­ted beat­ing up a mum and her two daugh­ters. One of t he Mur­rays’ vic­tims said she was so ter­ri­fied of the pair, she left Scot­land.

The duo were given two years each for beat­ing up Mur­ray Jnr’s es­tranged wife, her sis­ter and their mum in an un­pro­voked at­tack.

John Ju­nior and his fa­ther.

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