A MAN who shot and clubbed a badger with his air rifle after it snuck into a chicken coop has been sentenced to 150 hours’ unpaid work.

Liam Pointon, 26, shot the female badger four times and hit it over the head, on Meadow Farm in Cross Moor Lane, Haxby, north of York, where he had been labouring and staying in a tenant’s caravan.

The animal survived, but lost an eye after Pointon fractured her socket.

Catherine Turnbull, prosecuting, told York Magistrates Court the badger got into a hen house belonging to a woman on the farm.

Pointon, of The Paddock, Wilberfoss, pleaded guilty to attempting to kill a badger. Magistrates gave him a 12-month community order and a ten-day rehabilitation course to help him deal with depression and anxiety. He was also made to pay £85 costs and a £60 court surcharge.

After the hearing, Ryedale animal rescue volunteer Jean Thorpe, who helped nurse the badger back to health, branded the sentence “ridiculous".

She said: “The adult female badger was jammed into the egg-laying compartment of a small hen hut. She had blood coming from an eye and was very nervous and frightened. It was horrific.

"She will have been in considerable pain at the time of the shooting and beating and suffered the loss of an eye which may affect her survival in the future.

"The sentence was just not good enough."