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.

Sentencing:

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.

Newslinks:
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.

Newslink
Bristol Post

Swadlincote, Derbyshire: Leah R Prince

#TheList Leah Prince, born 06/02/75, of 8 Bridge Close, Church Gresley, Swadlincote, Derbyshire DE11 9HT – allowed Labrador to lose nearly half of her body weight

Labrador Roxy lost nearly half of her body weight in four months due to her owner Leah Prince's neglect
Labrador Roxy lost nearly half of her body weight in four months due to her owner Leah Prince’s neglect

Prince pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to her black Labrador called Roxy.

The court heard that Roxy almost died after losing 10 kilogrammes of weight in just four months. She had been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) earlier in 2017, and her rapid weight loss was said to be a result of the illness.

RSPCA Inspector Nicola Johnson said: “Roxy was unable to digest food properly because of the IBS, which would have left her in a lot of pain most days.

“She dropped weight very quickly and became weaker and weaker. All of her rib bones could be seen. It was obvious she was not a well dog.”

Roxy was skin and bone by the time she was rescued by the RSPCA from her neglectful owner Leah Prince from Swadlincote, Derbyshire
Roxy was skin and bone by the time she was rescued by the RSPCA from her neglectful owner Leah Prince from Swadlincote, Derbyshire. Happily she recovered and has been rehomed.

Roxy was taken to a vet by Prince, where she was diagnosed with IBS, but was not taken back to the vets again to receive an offer of surgery to help treat the condition.

Inspector Johnson said: “Instead, Prince went on the internet and searched for ways to treat it herself.

“She believed that eventually she would find the right food for Roxy, but in the meantime Roxy was drastically losing weight.

“She was eating food which would come straight out again – she just wasn’t able to digest it properly. This went on for four months, during which time Roxy had been left to suffer.

“If veterinary advice had been taken at the outset, she would not have lost so much weight and become so weak.”

The RSPCA was contacted by a member of the public after concerns were raised about the dog’s welfare and health.

Inspector Johnson added: “I took Roxy to a vet and we weighed her in at 13kg, which is far below the 25kg a female Labrador should weigh.

“Her road to recovery was a long one and she was so poorly that we nearly lost her a couple of times. It really was touch and go.

“I’d like to give a huge thanks to the staff at the RSPCA’s Burton branch, and staff at Springwood Vets and Swadlincote’s vets for their part in saving Roxy’s life. Without them she might not be here today.

“The good news is that Roxy has been happily re-homed with a lovely family, and she is a very happy dog today.

Sentencing: two-year conditional discharge; £200 costs. Lifetime ban on keeping animals.

StaffordshireLive

Sefton Park, Liverpool: Gavin Doolan

#TheList Gavin Peter Doolan, born c. 1960, of Flat 1, 21 Waverley Road, Sefton Park, Liverpool L17 8TZ – kicked a Jack Russell/Corgi crossbreed so hard the little dog flew into the air

Gavin Doolan attacked this dog in the street
Habitual criminal Gavin Doolan showed no remorse for his violent attack on this dog

Horrifying footage filmed by a concerned passer-by shows the tiny dog being kicked in the face while being walked by Doolan down a busy street in Dingle on August 16, 2017.

Such was the force of the attack, the dog was lifted into the air before flinching every time Doolan lashed out at concerned members of the public trying to protect the animal.

In court, Doolan admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and using threatening words or behaviour likely to cause alarm or distress.

Dog abuser Gavin Doolan from Liverpool
Man without charm: Gavin Doolan is a career criminal with dozens of convictions to his name

After leaving court, local newspaper the ECHO confronted Doolan to ask if he’d like to comment on the incident, but he showed very little remorse and claimed he beat the dog because it had bitten him and his brother.

He told our reporter: “I didn’t beat up a dog, go away … I didn’t beat up a dog. I kicked a dog, so what?

“I kicked a dog, it f*g ripped the end of my finger off so I kicked it.

“Listen, the dog was biting him [Gavin’s brother] for months. I’m sat on the bus and it started chewing on my finger. I apologise, I pleaded guilty, You’re hounding me now.”

Visibly angry, Doolan then went on to claim people “shouldn’t be concerned about animals”.

He added: “I am remorseful. I shouldn’t have kicked the dog okay, what more do you want me to do? When a dog is hanging off your finger you might think differently.

“There was a six month old baby killed by a dog because the father was p****d on the couch. Not my dog, but people shouldn’t be concerned about animals.

“Animals are like secondary, you should consider children more than animals.

“I’ve been threatened and everything over that dog. People on Facebook saying we’re going to this that and the other, so whatever.“

The court heard that Doolan had 31 previous convictions for unrelated offences and was last convicted in March 2017 of theft and battery.

Doolan was handed a 12-month community order and a home curfew on that occasion, meaning he was in breach of the order at the time of this incident.

Doolan told the court he had mental health issues and had been “unwell”, so had not seen the probation service since August or completed a thinking skills course.

Ms Fletcher requested further information from the probation service and an adjournment for a pre-sentence report, which was granted by magistrates.

Doolan was due to be sentenced in 22 January 2018 but no details were ever published in the press.

The dog, initially renamed Sconehead then Buster, recovered from his ordeal and was rehomed.

Liverpool ECHO
Daily Mail

Farnworth, Bolton: Rocky Knight

#TheList puppy farmer Rocky Knight, born 19/05/1981, of Masefield Drive, Farnworth, Bolton BL4 – kept sick puppies in atrocious conditions before selling them on to families

Greedy puppy farmer Rocky Knight from Farnworth in Bolton kept puppies in inhumane conditions before selling them on to unsuspecting families.
Greedy puppy farmer Rocky Knight from Farnworth in Bolton kept puppies in inhumane conditions before selling them on to unsuspecting families.

Irish traveller Knight, who was previously based at the notorious Hall Lane caravan site in Farnworth, admitted six counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

The RSPCA launched an investigation in 2016 following a number of complaints from members of the public who had bought puppies that had fallen ill and, in some cases, had died.

Greedy puppy farmer Rocky Knight from Farnworth in Bolton kept puppies in inhumane conditions before selling them on to unsuspecting families.
Phoebe the pug lived in disgusting conditions. She has since recovered from her ordeal and been rehomed.

During one raid, officers found two female dogs, a pug and a dachshund-cross, being kept in makeshift pens in an outbuilding in the rear garden.

Greedy puppy farmer Rocky Knight from Farnworth in Bolton kept puppies in inhumane conditions before selling them on to unsuspecting families.

Inspector Pippa Boyd said: “We found a crossbreed called Patsy and pug called Phoebe living in horrendous conditions in dark, dank and cold pens with no warm bedding or dry areas off the floor. It was a completely inhumane environment to keep dogs.

“Thankfully, we got to them in time and removed them. They were incredibly itchy and Phoebe had serious breathing problems. But they’ve been doing well in our care since and we have lovely new homes lined up for them.

“Sadly, we were too late for some, including a little puppy whose body we found wrapped up in a plastic bag at the house.”

Greedy puppy farmer Rocky Knight from Farnworth in Bolton kept puppies in inhumane conditions before selling them on to unsuspecting families.
Irish traveller Rocky Knight was jailed for 16 weeks and banned from keeping animals for life

Knight advertised the dogs online and passed himself off as a responsible, reputable breeder.

He offered to deliver puppies to new owners or arranged to meet them in car parks away from his home.

Knight’s lawyer said her client was ‘remorseful’ and accepted responsibility for his actions.

She said: “You probably have little in terms of positive feelings towards Mr Knight. He is remorseful and, in his words, he wishes he could turn the clocks back.

“He accepts his culpability. He did not go out there to intentionally sell families sick puppies. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

“From looking at the puppies, he could not tell they were sick but he accepts that he is responsible and had not taken care of them appropriately.”

The dogs that were cared for by staff at the RSPCA’s Warrington branch have already found new homes.

Insp Boyd said: “This should be a major flag to anybody looking into buying a puppy.

“A genuinely responsible breeder who has the best interests of their dogs in mind will be happy for you to visit the puppies in the environment they were born and see them interacting with their mother, siblings and people.

“We would advise anyone thinking of getting a puppy to first consider adopting a dog from a rescue centre.”

Sentencing:
16-week jail term; £150 victim surcharge. Disqualified from keeping animals for life.

Dog Magazine
Bolton News

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