Man who stabbed a fox with a pitchfork handed suspended sentence

Foxes are increasingly likely to be seen in urban areas and will certainly feature strongly in the P

Paul O'Shea was sentenced at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court (file photo) - Credit: robert mckenna

A 49-year-old man who admitted stabbing a fox with a pitchfork has been handed a suspended jail sentence.

Paul O'Shea, of Lower Jennies, Mount Bures, appeared before Chelmsford Magistrates' Court for sentencing on Monday.

He had admitted to hunting a wild mammal with dogs and causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal at the same court on June 22.

The incident is believed to have taken place on December 4 in the Coggeshall area of Essex and was investigated by officers from Essex Police's rural engagement team.

A 16-year-old girl from the Bures area had also been charged with hunting a wild animal with dogs in relation to the incident, but the case against her was discontinued.

O'Shea was sentenced to 18 weeks in jail suspended for 12 months, ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and banned from owning dogs for five years.

He was also ordered to pay £105 in costs and a £128 victim surcharge.