A BABY fawn was killed after being karate chopped in the head, dropped three feet then repeatedly kicked as it lay defenceless on the ground, a court has heard.

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

The trio, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were seen by a witness laughing and joking as they tormented the young animal during the “barbaric” attack, the prosecution says.

All three 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.

One of the teens told police the deer had already broken its leg and they were putting it out of its misery, a scenario dismissed by the prosecution.

The trio were arrested five days after the attack after police were given their names by a stunned Poole community.

A post mortem revealed the tiny 3.6kg deer, aged between four to six weeks, suffered several skull fractures, a snapped spine and a broken leg.

Veterinary surgeon David Holah told Poole Youth Court the otherwise healthy animal would have “suffered greatly” during its ordeal.

Prosecuting, Paul Griffin said: There was a great deal of stress, injury and suffering to the fawn in the last moments of its life.”

Mr Griffin said one of the teenagers told police: “I got carried away and was stupid. I thought it would be a laugh.”

Meanwhile, the 16-year-old defendant insists he only nudged the animal with his foot.

Witness Keith Arthurs, who was walking his dog through the park when he spotted the trio, said: “All three youths started stamping on the baby deer repeatedly.”

The 52-year-old said he became suspicious after he saw one of them holding the deer in his arms, so dialled 999.

He told the court seconds later one of the teenagers hit the young deer.

“One of the youths karate-chopped the young fawn across its nose,” he said.

“It was being held by the other one.

“Quite clearly he had an expression on his face of enjoyment.”

The youth then dropped the animal three feet, before all three repeatedly kicked it on the ground, insisted Mr Arthurs.

He added: “They had a look of enjoyment, they were laughing and joking.

“I was in deep shock and horror about what was going on and could see their faces.

“I have tried to erase some of it from my memory.”

He said that, when he returned to the scene to show police where the animal lay, “there were indentations on the baby deer’s head, blood on all the grass around it”.

He added: “I used to enjoy walking there but not anymore, because of what I saw.”

The case continues.