A HAMPSHIRE man has been jailed after a video surfaced of him beating a cockerel to death with a metal kebab skewer.

James Goddard, of Mayles Close in Wickham, was found guilty in his absence of one offence of causing unnecessary suffering to the bird – by beating it to death – but he failed to attend court so a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Police investigating an unrelated matter in Hampshire had discovered a video of Goddard on a mobile phone.

The footage showed the 27-year-old, wearing a blue vest, chasing a cockerel around a fenced area with a metal pole.

RSPCA chief inspector Will Mitchell described the violent footage: “Mr Goddard chases the bird around taking swipes with the three-foot-long metal skewer like a baseball bat.

“He then grabs hold of the cockerel, holds him upside down by his feet and, while the bird frantically flaps around and tries to escape his clutches, he beats his head with the pole.

“He swings at the poor bird again and again, hitting him in the head like a piñata.

"He then throws the bird’s body onto the ground and celebrates the vicious kill.

“It’s absolutely shocking to watch. His violent behaviour and the savage cruelty he shows towards this bird is difficult to comprehend.”

Godddard appeared for sentencing at at Southampton Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

He was jailed for 18 weeks and disqualified from keeping any animal for five years. Goddard was also fined £750 and ordered to pay victim surcharge of £115.

Sergeant Andy Williams from Hampshire Constabulary’s Country Watch team said: “We are pleased that Goddard has finally been punished for what really was a shocking and cowardly act against the animal.

“We work closely with our partners from the RSPCA on a variety of rural and animal welfare matters.

“Offences such as this have no place in modern society. When information is received about such offences, the Country Watch team is only too pleased to assist in investigating them and bringing offenders to justice.”