Apache denies having badger paws and wings
AN Apache from Swansea has pleaded not guilty to possessing dead badger paws and the wings of birds of prey.
Mangas Colorados appeared at Swansea Magistrates' Court to deny offences under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
The court was told it was a "rather unusual" case for the Crown to be prosecuting.
Sixty-year-old Colorados, from Townhill, appeared in traditional native American dress — minus the head-dress — for the brief hearing before district judge Vivian Manning-Davies.
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At the start of proceedings the judge said he wanted to declare that he was a supporter of a Welsh animal welfare charity and would therefore not be hearing the case when it came to trial — he asked Colorados's solicitor whether her client was happy for him to sit at the initial pleas stage, and after taking instructions from the defendant she said he was.
Julie Sullivan, prosecuting, said it would take some time to prepare the evidence in the case.
She said: "This is a rather unusual case for the Crown Prosecution Service to be dealing with.
"It is a complex case and we will need to get expert evidence from witnesses, some of whom are abroad."
Colorados is accused of possessing a dead or part of a dead badger at his Gors Avenue house, contrary to the Protection of Badgers Act, and of possessing live or dead schedule 1 wild bird or its parts, contrary to the Wildlife and Countryside Act.
Anne Griffiths, defending, said: "My client is part of a native American Apache tribe. His belief means he travels abroad and lives in these communities in the summer.
"My client will say that the badger paws were, in effect, road kill, and the wings were found in a field.
"Due to the complex nature of the evidence we would submit there is a need for expert defence witnesses."
The hearing was adjourned until February 27 when a case management hearing will be held, and Colorados was granted unconditional bail.