Landowner damaged badger sett
Dumped rubble and soil which blocked and damaged a badger sett cost the landowner more than £6,215 in fines and costs.
At Leicester Magistrates' Court, Kuldip Singh Kainth (60) was found guilty of interfering with a badger sett by damaging and obstructing it from February 1 to 8 last year.
Kainth, a textile merchant, is the owner of land containing a derelict bungalow in Anstey Lane, Leicester, among other properties.
The court heard he had employed workmen to clear some of the land to build a garage, despite knowing that badgers had an active sett on part of it and having an application to remove the animals refused by Natural England.
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Wayne Chapple, who lives next to the site, said that before the work, the land was overgrown and the badgers had made trails where they regularly walked.
He described the rubble being built up in a big mound by the workers clearing the site.
"I told them there were badgers there but they just carried on," he said.
Prosecutor Louise Cox said Kainth, of The Broadway, Oadby, spoke to a wildlife adviser at Natural England about removing the animals in March 2011, and was told he required a licence.
In June he was told a licence was not to be issued until Natural England knew who was going to undertake the work.
Kainth was fined £2,500 on each charge and ordered to pay £1,200 costs and £15 victim surcharge – a total of £6.215.
District Judge Timothy Daber said the fortunate thing was no harm was done to the badgers occupying the sett.
Neil Hughes, Leicestershire police's wildlife officer said: "I am pleased with the result. It shows that builders and land-developers have to comply with wildlife legislation."