Teenagers killed fawn 'for a laugh', court told

Three youths killed a two-day-old fawn in a Dorset park by stamping on it "for a laugh", a court has heard.

The teenagers, two 17-year-olds and a 16-year-old, caught the female baby deer as it waited for its mother in Upton Country Park on June 10 this year.

The trio were "egging" each other on with one boy swinging it by its leg, another karate chopping its head before all three "stomped" it to death, Paul Griffin, prosecuting, told Poole Youth Court.

A post-mortem showed the fawn suffered several skull fractures, a severed spine and a fractured right leg.

The trio, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were arrested on June 15 after a police appeal attracted international interest and officers were tipped off with their names.

One of the accused told police: "I got carried away and was stupid. I thought it would be a laugh."

He said he would not do it again because of the "police business" and Mr Griffin said: "Effectively remorse that he had been caught, not for what he had done."

The youngest defendant told police he only nudged the fawn once with his foot and did not laugh like the others. One of the older boys told police the fawn was already injured and they were putting it out of its misery.

The youths, from Poole, have pleaded not guilty to intentionally killing a deer while on land without consent and an alternative charge of beating a wild mammal with intent to cause unnecessary suffering.

They were charged with the offences under the Deer Act 1991 and the Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 1996.