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HEARTLESS ‘FAMILY MAN’ Fury as badger baiter who left his own dog to die has jail sentence overturned

Paul Reavey was originally sentenced to four months after he abandoned his terrier dog down a badger sett leaving it with "quite horrifying injuries"

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Paul Reavey speaks to reporter Steven Moore.

Paul Reavey speaks to reporter Steven Moore.

Paul Reavey speaks to reporter Steven Moore.

A so-called 'family man' who adopts and fosters kids is today exposed as a cruel badger baiter who left his own dog to die.

Paul Reavey - pictured for the first time - was sentenced to four months last month after he abandoned his terrier dog down a badger sett leaving it with "quite horrifying injuries".

But the animal rights world was reeling last night after Judge Gordon Kerr QC overturned the jail sentence - because Reavey has a background of fostering and adopting children.

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The injured dog has since been re-homed.

The injured dog has since been re-homed.

The injured dog has since been re-homed.

 

Instead Reavey, of Lisnaree Road, Rathfriland, Co. Down, won't serve a single day behind bars after the judge suspended the sentence for two years for the crime of animal cruelty.

One animal rights campaigner told the Sunday World: "It's hard to believe someone who treats a dog like that is allowed to foster children."

On Friday, the Sunday World confronted Reavey at his home to ask him why he had got involved in badger baiting and had left his dog to die down a hole. He said he didn't wish to comment.

However, he added: "I just want to live my life now it's all over, I have a family here to think of and protect."

When we asked about the dog again he replied: "I have nothing more to say about it. I need to consider my family so I can't speak about the case.

"I'm glad it's over and that he judge decided not to send me to jail."

Reavey was ordered back into his home by members of his family who told him to stop talking to us.

On Thursday, the County Appeal Court in Newry upheld Reavey's fine of £750 as well as his 10-year ban from keeping animals.

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At the time of his original jail sentence the USPCA's chief executive Brendan Mullan said: "This is one of the tougher sentences that we have seen in recent years...We are appalled at the level of cruelty involved in this incident and it's unthinkable that any animal should have to endure this type of pain and suffering.

But animal rights campaigners were furious last night that Reavey had been given a prison reprieve.

One campaigner who operates as a hunt saboteur told the Sunday World: "It's an absolute disgrace this man is not going to jail after what he did and once again the courts are sending out the wrong signals.

"I can't answer what makes someone want to go out with dogs and watch them fight and kill badgers...The baiters even pick the times when badgers are pregnant or have young cubs because they will fight even harder."

The incident, which happened in Co. Armagh, came to light when a member of the public alerted the USPCA to the distressed dog which "appeared to have been left behind underground by its owner".

The court heard on Thursday that a Patterdale terrier was left with severe facial wounds after it was rescued from a badger sett on June 23, 2019.

The dog was in a horrific state, covered in muck, soaking wet and suffering from severe facial wounds.

Reavey was identified in video of the incident, and later pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the dog, which has since been re-homed.

A defence lawyer for Reavey argued that with a background of fostering and adopting children, "the court could consider adopting a different course" than sending him straight to jail.

Judge Kerr said: "It seems to me that there are exceptional personal circumstances that would allow me to suspend the sentence" for two years".

The judge warned that if Reavey reoffended or had "anything to do with animals," he would be liable to serve that sentence.

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