Teen caught up in greyhound live baiting scandal

A LIVE piglet which died after being used as live bait for racing greyhounds, has ensnared the teenage girlfriend of a trainer in the animal cruelty case.

Ashleigh Priggins was 17 (about to turn 18) when she was visited the Churchable property of former greyhound trainer Tom Noble.

Priggins, now 21 and a mother, pleaded guilty in the District Court at Ipswich to one Crown offence of inflicting pain and unlawfully killing an animal at Churchable on October 8, 2014.

She was convicted of the offence of serious animal cruelty but Judge, Alexander Horneman-Wren SC did not record a conviction - finding her involvement to be a lot less than the others who were charged.

The Crown prosecutor presented film footage taken by a hidden camera that shows Priggins at the greyhound training track that day when a live piglet was used and chased by greyhounds.

Priggins lived next door with her now former boyfriend who trained greyhounds. She was not a trainer and not involved in the racing industry.

The Crown case said live baiting had been going on and an investigation underway at the time.

Her role was very limited and she put two dogs in a viewing box, holding pens.

And it was not her task to release the dogs or to put live bait.

Priggins afterwards co-operated with police, and essentially "turned a blind eye" to what was happening with the Crown accepting she was on the "periphery" of the offending and with nothing to gain by it.

Defence barrister Patrick Wilson successfully sought for a conviction not to be recorded.

Mr Wilson said Priggins had earlier been referred by a job agency to Sovereign Lodge greyhound facility where she first met people in the industry, even adopting a greyhound.

"The reality is she had nothing to gain by being there. It was a social thing," he said.

Judge Horneman-Wren said 15 dogs had been trained and a live piglet did not survive the ordeal in what has been described as "barbaric".

She was not involved in tethering the piglet to the lure arm but was identified in covert footage.

Finding that her involvement was much less than others he fined Priggins $1000. A conviction not recorded.

"Your character indicates you are unlikely to commit any offence in the future," Judge Horneman-Wren said.



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