This is such a weird case and there’s a lot about its progress through the judicial system that I don’t understand and haven’t found anyone yet who can provide a decent explanation.
Way back in December 2020 I blogged about the trial at Newport Magistrates Court of a 39-year-old man, Dewi James Price, who had been found guilty in his absence of killing a badger in the Builth Wells area of Powys on February 18, 2018. He was also convicted of taking a red kite in Gelligaer, Caerphilly, on May 19, 2019, and was found guilty of intentionally or recklessly disturbing a red kite while it was in, on or near a nest containing eggs or young and of intentionally or recklessly disturbing the dependent young of a red kite. He had filmed himself committing these crimes and boasted about his activities online. He was due to be sentenced the following week at Newport crown Court (see here).
[There are numerous ‘trophy’ photos like this on Price’s Facebook page]
However, it was then reported that sentencing had been switched to Cardiff Crown Court but sentencing had been deferred until 8th January 2021 because the defendant’s barrister had told the judge her client wanted to appeal his conviction (see here).
This made no sense to me. I thought appeals were undertaken after sentencing, not before.
Anyway, after that newspaper report nothing more was heard of this case. I’ve asked a few people about it during 2021 but nobody seemed to know anything about it.
Until a few days ago.
On the 9th February 2022, the Wales Online website published the news that Dewi Price had appeared at Swansea crown Court for sentencing.
He was sentenced to a total of six months in prison – comprising five months for the badger offence and one month for the Red Kite offences to run consecutively – suspended for 12 months.
He must also complete a rehabilitation course and pay a £125 contribution to the £9,946 costs of bringing the prosecution. The court ordered two dogs be taken off Price, and the defendant was banned from keeping dogs for two years – the judge said the period of the ban would likely have been “much longer” had the case come to court sooner.
The judge also said she was “quite sure” it would have been immediate custody had the case come to court sooner.
Eh? I don’t understand why he wasn’t sentenced back in Dec 2020 after being convicted, nor why it has taken 14 months to get him back into court for sentencing, nor why this delay would lessen his sentence.
If there are any blog readers from law enforcement who could offer an explanation it’d be welcome!
UPDATE 14.20hrs: There’s another news item about this case published by the South Wales Argus on 10th February 2022. This article claims Price was found guilty at a trial at Cardiff Crown Court on 4th February 2022. I’m not sure this is accurate reporting.