Walworth, London: Ricardo Byfield and Lisa Harvey

#TheList Ricardo Byfield, born c. 1980, and wife Lisa Elizabeth Harvey, born 24/02/1973, previously of Whitton Avenue West, Northolt, Ealing, but as of 2020 of St Johns House, Lytham Street, Walworth, London SE17 2PW – illegally bred pit bull terriers to use in organised dog fights.

Pictured outside court: Lisa Harvey and Ricardo Byfield, who kept a pack of  scarred fighting dogs at their one-bedroom council property in Northolt, Ealing
Lisa Harvey and Ricardo Byfield kept a pack of scarred fighting dogs at their one-bedroom council property in Northolt, Ealing

Career criminal Ricardo Byfield and wife Lisa Harvey were prosecuted under the Dangerous Dog Act 1991 and the Protection of Animals Act 1911.

Following a tip-off by neighbours, police raided the couple’s house in August 2006 to rescue 26 dogs. Most were pit bulls but three Dogues de Bordeaux, a rottweiler and a Staffordshire bull terrier were also found.

The animals were found locked in cages around the one-bedroomed council home, which doubled as a dog-training gym.

The dogs were found covered in scars from vicious dog-fights and some were marked on documents as “Champion” or “Grand Champion” – meaning they had won several fights.

Police mugshot of dog fighter Ricardo Byfield
Police mugshot of dog fighter Ricardo Byfield

Puppies aged between two weeks and four months old were also rescued in the raid.

A makeshift treadmill which officers believe was used to exercise the dogs and build up their powerful shoulder muscles was also recovered.

Dog fighter Lisa Harvey

Byfield admitted 19 counts of possession and breeding of dangerous dogs and Harvey admitted one charge of possession and breeding of dangerous dogs.

Chairman of the bench Jeffrey Bonn said it was clear both Byfield and Harvey had been actively involved in dog fighting and breeding dogs over a substantial period of time.

“We owe the public the right to be protected from the possibility of these animals escaping and causing harm, which we are in no doubt was a very real possibility,” he said.

An order to destroy 19 pit bull dogs, made by prosecutor Noel Watkins, was unopposed by their owners and upheld by the court.

Sentencing: six months in jail. Lifetime ban on owning or keeping dogs. Byfield was ordered to pay £500 and Harvey to pay £250.

BBC News
Ealing Times