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Badger-baiting pair banned from keeping animals are caught with dogs

John Murray Jnr arrives at Hamilton Sheriff Court
John Murray Jnr arrives at Hamilton Sheriff Court

A FATHER and son banned from keeping animals until 2024 are facing possible action after a number of dogs were seized from them.

Authorities removed five lurcher-type dogs from father and son duo John “Mint” Murray, 60, and John Junior, 37, after raiding their home in Larkhall, Lanarkshire.

The breed is sometimes used for illegal hunting, particularly foxes and badgers.

The Murrays were convicted in 2014 of badger baiting.

The court heard the pair also liked to trap cats and foxes in a wheelie bin, which they then set their dogs on.

When the pair – who lived next door to each other and are related to a man who killed a police officer – were found guilty, they were banned from keeping dogs until 2024 and given 250 hours of community service.

But The Sunday Post can reveal police and the Scottish SPCA moved in to seize five dogs after a tip-off the Murrays were keeping dogs again.

A source said: “It’s clear the Murrays won’t stop keeping dogs despite what the court has told them.

“The conviction was only three years ago and there are fears they are back to their old ways.”

The dogs, seized on August 10, are now being re-homed by the Scottish SPCA.

The animal charity led the original investigation into the Murrays, leading to their conviction.

Police Scotland confirmed the Murrays were the subject of a report to the procurator fiscal over “alleged offences under the Protection of Badgers Act and a disqualification order”.

A source at the Crown Office said it was understood a report on the pair was being sent to them for consideration.

An undercover inspector from the Scottish SPCA Special Investigations Unit said: “We were called to an address in Larkhall to assist Police Scotland in regards to males who previously received a ban at Hamilton Sheriff Court to prevent them keeping dogs due to their involvement in badger baiting.

“A report will be submitted by Police Scotland.”

In the same year the Murrays were convicted of badger baiting, they also appeared in court where they admitted beating up a mum and her two daughters.

One of the Murrays’ victims said she was so terrified of the pair, she left Scotland.

The duo were given two years each for beating up Murray Jnr’s estranged wife, her sister and their mum in an unprovoked attack.