A Wigan dog owner has been given a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) after being sentenced for offences including animal poaching in the Sefton area of Merseyside.
On Friday 21 May, Daniel Ratchford, 36, of Wellfield Road, Wigan, was given a suspended prison sentence and a CBO for committing poaching offences on private farmland including allowing his lurchers to kill wild rabbits and hares.
The CBO runs for five years and excludes him from entering areas in West Lancashire, St Helens and Sefton.
It also prevents him from being a part of a group of two or more people who are in control of a dog anywhere in England and Wales, as well as prohibiting from trespassing on any land and from acting in a manner that causes alarm, harassment or distress.
Ratchford was given the order after previously being found guilty of four poaching offences, hunting wild animals with dogs and five breaches of a dog disqualification order.
In addition to his CBO, his 32 week custodial sentence was suspended for two years and he was handed a 16 week 7pm to 6am tagged curfew, 50 day Rehabilitation Order, life-time prohibition from keeping dogs and all of his dogs were forfeited to police for rehoming.
Merseyside’s Rural, Wildlife & Heritage Crime Team supported Lancashire’s Rural Task Force and the RSPCA specialist operations unit executed a warrant at Ratchford’s property in the early hours of Thursday 11 March.
Five dogs were found inside, in breach of his lifetime disqualification which he was given in 2014, after being convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to a dog. For this offence, he was sentenced to twelve weeks imprisonment.
DC Jason Keating from Merseyside’s Rural, Wildlife & Heritage Crime Unit Team said “We welcome Ratchford’s sentencing and hope that it serves as a warning to those who intend to commit crimes in our rural communities that we will find you and bring you to justice.”
“Merseyside Police are taking a proactive approach supporting the North West Rural and Wildlife Crime teams from neighbouring forces to tackle these serious offences.”
“In the last twelve months alone, in Sefton, there have been 142 crimes investigated with positive outcomes and offenders cautioned and charged for offences such as causing unnecessary suffering to animals.”
“You can find out more information on rural crime in Merseyside, as well as tips for preventing and reporting on our website here: Rural crime | Merseyside Police.”