Ilford, East London: Pakistani cockfighting gang

#TheList Mohammed Asab, born c. 1966, of 37 Water Lane, Ilford IG3 9HN; Mohammed Arif, born c. 1974, of 59 Fairfield Road, Ilford IG1 2JL; Akhtar Hussain, born c. 1970, of 4A Greenhill Grove, London E12 6BA; Mehtab Ahmed, born c. 1976, of 8 Celebration Way, London E4 9AF;  Altaf Hussain, born c. 1963, of 30 Parkstone Road, Coventry CV6 7AL

Ring leader of Pakistani cockfighting gang Mohammed Asab of 37 Water Lane, Ilford
Ring leader of Pakistani cockfighting gang Mohammed Asab of 37 Water Lane, Ilford

Mohammed Asab, the ring-leader of a Pakistani cockfighting gang based in Ilford, East London, was found guilty of causing an animal fight to take place, keeping and training an animal for use in connection with an animal fight, and keeping premises for use for an animal fight.

Mohammed Arif, Akhtar Hussain, Mehtab Ahmed and Altaf Hussain were all found guilty of being present at an animal fight involving cockerels.

Disturbing footage seized by police and produced in court showed bloodied birds being trained by the gang. In the video, shown below,  Asab is seen training and breeding cockerels to fight and even referred to one of his hens as a producer of ‘champions’.

Cockerels armed with sharpened spurs were pitched against one another in an outbuilding where the group had specifically designed a ring compete with seats around the edge and fake grass in the centre.

When police raided the fighting pit they found fresh cockerel blood splattered across white walls and found several distressed birds flapping around inside.

A blood-stained towel was also found and the cockerels were found to have wounds including one deep cut to the neck which someone had attempted to stitch up.

A total of ten cockerels and two hens were seized by police and animal welfare officers during the raid in January 2017.


Mohammed Asab: given a 22-week suspended sentence and ordered to pay £10,000 for the long-term care of his former cockerels, now forfeited to the RSPCA, and £2,000 in legal costs. He must also pay a £150 victim surcharge, complete 200 hours community service in 12 months, and forfeit his cockfighting paraphernalia. Lifetime bird-keeping ban.

Mohammed Arif, Akhtar Hussain, Mehtab Ahmed and Altaf Hussain were each fined £1,500, plus a £85 victim surcharge, and granted community orders of 200 hours community service to be completed in 12 months.

A 17-year-old was granted conditional discharge and a fine of £180.

Daily Mail
Ilford Recorder

Nottingham: Aaron Jay Barker

#TheList Aaron Jay Barker (DoB 01/07/1991) of Flat 2, Cherry House, 23 Redhill Road, Arnold, Nottingham NG5 8GT – beat to death two kittens he’d adopted 10 days previously from Cats Protection League.

Kitten killer Aaron Jay Barker of Basford, Nottingham. Photo on right shows Barker with one of the kittens he later killed.
Kitten killer Aaron Jay Barker of Basford, Nottingham. Photo on right shows Barker with one of the kittens he later killed.

Barker pinned 4mo kittens Panther and Baby to the floor and beat them to death.

A post-mortem showed the kittens suffered multiple injuries including fractured skull, broken ribs, brain haemorrhages, ruptured liver and blood clots. Vets believed these were caused by blunt force trauma and contacted the RSPCA.

Barker claim a burglar attacked the kittens. He said he tried to give them a bath to wash away blood and faeces, but as he did so Panther jumped out of his arms, hit the bottom of the bath and died. Panther’s injuries were not consistent with this, however, and the evidence pointed to the injuries being inflicted when Barker was at home alone.

Sentence: 20 weeks in prison. Life  ban on keeping pets.

Nottingham Post 19/12/2017
The Sun 25/12/2017

Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol: Jake Griffiths

#TheList Jake Griffiths (DoB 07/08/1992) of Ringwood Crescent, Westbury-on-Trym , Bristol BS10 5RL – swung his dog around by the lead and kept kicking him in the street until passers-by intervened and stopped him

Violent dog abuser Jake Griffiths, who's now banned from keeping animals for life.
Violent dog abuser Jake Griffiths, who’s now banned from keeping animals for life.

Griffiths assaulted his dog in such a shocking way that people walking past the attack on Gloucester Road in July 2017 stepped in and tried to stop him.

They held him until police arrived, and Griffith was arrested.

It appeared Griffiths was trying to train his brindle-coloured Staffordshire bull terrier, who was just nine months old at the time. He was picking up the dog, Buddy, and throwing him to the ground.

“Witnesses saw Griffiths lift the dog up by his lead which was tied around his neck, so it was almost like a noose,” said RSPCA Inspector Simon Coombs.

“Then they saw him kick the dog a couple of times, before dragging him up the road.

“They intervened and called the police, who then arrested Griffiths and contacted ourselves,” he added.

At Bristol Magistrates Court, Griffiths admitted two offences under the Animal Welfare Act.

He was given a lifetime ban on keeping all animals for causing unnecessary suffering to Buddy, as well as using frightening, harmful and potentially painful training methods.

In his defence, Griffiths told magistrates that he has an alcohol problem that made him short-tempered and he had taken it out on Buddy, despite saying he loved the dog.

“That is still no excuse for treating an animal so badly and I’m really pleased with the sentence,” said Insp Coombs.

“Griffiths signed Buddy over to us as soon as we became involved and I’m pleased to say that he was rehomed soon after,” he added.

Magistrates commended the two witnesses who saw the incident and intervened.

Griffiths was told by the court that he cannot appeal his lifetime animal ban for ten years.

Sentence: one-year community order, which includes 20 days of rehabilitation activity and a six-month alcohol treatment requirement; £300 in costs and £85 victim surcharge; banned from keeping animals for life.

Bristol Post

Thornley, County Durham: Aimie Louise Bennett

#TheList Aimie Louise Bennett, born 19/07/1991, of 22 St Leonard Crescent, Thornley, Durham DH6 3GA –  starved a Dalmatian and left her to suffer with an agonising skin condition.

Six-year-old Dalmatian Bella was left to starve and suffer a painful skin condition. She later died as a result of the neglect she'd been subjected to by Aimie Louise Bennett of Thornley, Durham.
Six-year-old Bella was left to starve and suffer a painful skin condition. She later died as a result of the neglect she’d been subjected to by Aimie Louise Bennett of Thornley, Durham.

Six-year-old Dalmatian Bella was taken in by the Dalmatian Adoption Society and Rescue after a member was tipped off about the appalling condition she was in.

The charity’s founder Sue Bell said Bella’s skin condition was so bad that she was biting and scratching herself to get a little bit of relief. She said Bella was also emaciated with her bones clearly visible through her skin.

Sadly, a few days after being rescued Bella died in the night from a condition called bloat, or gastric dilatation-volvulus, which is when a dog’s stomach fills with gas, food, or fluid, making it expand and twist.

Sue said: “Ironically, the starving and skin condition didn’t kill her, but I think it must have happened because she started eating again.”

The rescue contacted the RSPCA about Bella’s condition, who prosecuted her owner, mother-of-three  Aimie Louise Bennett.

Bennett admitted causing unnecessary suffering to Bella between March and June 2017 by failing to explore and address her deteriorating physical condition.

Speaking about the case RSPCA inspector Nick Jones said: “This poor dog was in a shocking state.

“She was emaciated and had a terrible skin infection which had caused her to self-harm.

“Her whole body was covered in sores where she had chewed her skin until it was raw to relieve the irritation.”

Bennett said she had taken Bella on after her previous owner moved away and that she had issues with her skin from the start which she had treated herself when they escalated.

RSPCA inspector Jones said: “It is every owner’s responsibility to provide vet treatment for their pets when they need it.

“It would have been clear to anyone that Bella was suffering and needed professional help.”

Sentencing: £150 costs. Disqualified from keeping dogs for five years (expires December 2022).

Hartlepool Mail

Hartlepool, County Durham: John Michael Donaldson

#TheList John Michael Donaldson, born 25/05/1969, of 12 Oak Grove, Hartlepool TS24 8JG – left two dogs to starve to death.

Donaldson left a female white and black terrier-type dog called Bess and a male black terrier named Whiskey at a house in Straker Street, Hartlepool, without food.

The dogs were found dead on May 23, 2017, by the landlord of the house that Donaldson rented.

RSPCA inspector Lucy Hoehne said: “The smell was overwhelming and there was faeces, urine and bits of chewed up foam from a sofa all over the floor.

“The dogs were in the upstairs back bedroom.

“It was an absolutely heartbreaking scene, they were snuggled together in a corner where there was a duvet on the floor.

“If it hadn’t been for the smell, at first glance you might have thought they were sleeping.

“They had been dead for some time, likely as a result of starvation and dehydration, and were covered in maggots.”

The court earlier heard that Donaldson had previously lived at the house but left the dogs there when he moved to another address.

John Elwood, prosecuting, told the court at an earlier hearing it was not possible to say how long the dogs had been dead. He said: “For the dogs to be in the condition they were found, the period of neglect must have been prolonged.”

Donaldson refused to cooperate with the RSPCA investigation. He was convicted in his absence of two offences of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal between April and May 2017.

Donaldson was eventually arrested after a third warrant was issued when he failed to turn up at court.

RSPCA inspector Hoehne said: “What these dogs went through before they died doesn’t bear thinking about.”

Sentencing: 24 weeks in jail. Total of £415 costs and charges. Lifetime ban on keeping animals.

Hartlepool Mail