Two brothers who filmed themselves torturing animals have been jailed for what one police officer described as some of the "most horrifying offences" he had ever seen.
Kristen, 24, and Todd Cooper, 29, were found with several videos showing the pair “causing unnecessary suffering to animals, mainly in rural areas at night”, police said.
The films showed Kristen, from Bransgore, causing suffering to injured deer and hares and sometimes encouraging dogs to attack them in New Forest National Park.
There were also videos showing deers with injuries to their genitals suggesting they had been mutilated.
An expert described the “horrifying” films as some of the worst cases of animal abuse he had seen in 24 years as a vet.
Todd Cooper admitted carrying out an act of animal cruelty that involved his brother holding down a deer while he struck it over the head with a blunt object. Kristen Cooper pleaded guilty to seven offences of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.
Police constable Sebastian Haggett, of Dorset Police’s Rural Crime Team, said “Cooper repeatedly subjected animals to horrific levels of pain and suffering, seemingly for his own and others’ amusement. These are without doubt some of the most horrifying offences I have ever investigated.”
Inspector Darren Ord, from Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary said: “These horrific crimes have caused a great deal of harm and suffering, and we are pleased that these crimes have been recognised with this sentencing and the offenders have been brought to justice.
“We take reports of rural crime extremely seriously and our officers will continue to work with partners to show criminals that offences of this kind will not be tolerated in Hampshire, or across our borders.”
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner David Sidwick said: “Kristen Cooper has committed deplorable and sickening acts of cruelty as well as offences that strike at the heart of our rural community.”
Angharad Thomas, CPS Wessex Wildlife Lead, said: “This was a shocking case, involving unimaginable violence and cruelty to animals on a level that I have, thankfully, rarely seen before.
“Working closely with the Rural Crime Team throughout, we were able to make sure we had all the evidence we needed for a strong prosecution case, ensuring that these defendants faced justice for their cruelty and absolute disregard for protected animals.”
The brothers have now been jailed for a total of eight years and eight months - with Kristen being jailed for five years, and Todd being jailed for three years and eight months. Both men will serve at least half of their sentence before being eligible for release on licence.
Kristen will also be subject to a Criminal behaviour Order for 10 years and disqualified from owning a dog for 10 years.