Category Archives: cockerel

Longfield, Kent: John and William Cook

#TheList John Benjamin Cook, born 13/11/1993, and his brother William Cook, born 11/07/1989, both of Little Acres, Longfield Avenue, New Barn, Longfield, Dartford DA3 7LA – ran a puppy farm and a cock-fighting ring

William 'Billy' Cook (left) and brother John Cook
Dogs and puppies were kept in deplorable conditions at a puppy farm operated by William Cook (left) and his brother John. The pair also hosted cruel cock-fights for other gypsies.

Gypsy travellers John and William Cook were convicted of a number of animal welfare offences.

In July 2018 RSPCA officers executed a warrant at the sprawling property in New Barn the brothers share with their extended family, including wives, children and parents, after a member of the public who had bought puppies from them raised concerns.

Deplorable conditions at the puppy farm operated by  gypsy brothers William and John Cook from New Barn, Longfield, Kent
Deplorable conditions at the puppy farm operated by gypsy brothers William and John Cook from New Barn, Longfield, Kent

In total, 18 dogs, including spaniels and beagles were removed along with two cockerels.

Officers also seized a number of mobile phones from the site and a suspecting cock-fighting pit was uncovered. Analysis of the mobiles showed the brothers were involved with fighting and later forensics tests found the blood of at least four cockerels on the pit.

Deplorable conditions at the puppy farm operated by  gypsy brothers William and John Cook from New Barn, Longfield, Kent

During the four-day trial the court heard how John Cook was accused of causing suffering to a number of dogs, failing to provide them with vet care for stomach and teeth problems and keeping them in unsuitable conditions.

Animal abuser William Cook from Longfield, Kent
William Cook, who is now banned from keeping all animals for three years. His equally twisted brother is only banned from keeping dogs.

William Cook was accused of a number of offences relating to cockerel fighting.

John Cook pleaded guilty to the offences, while William Cook was convicted of the offences under the Animal Welfare Act.

Animal abuser William Cook from Longfield, Kent

RSPCA inspector Carroll Lamport, from the charity’s special operations unit, said: “Many of the dogs being kept at the site had health and welfare problems, including untreated gastrointestinal and dental issues.

William Cook is a leading member of a cock-fighting ring. Here, he is pictured with brother-in-law, Owen Lee
William Cook is a leading member of a cock-fighting ring. Here, he is pictured with brother-in-law, Owen Lee

“We also had serious concerns over the conditions they were being kept in. The dogs and puppies were being kept in dirty, wet conditions with no bedding.”

William Cook – 120-day prison term – suspended for two years. Ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work. Disqualified from keeping any animals for three years.

John Cook – 90 days in prison – also suspended for two years; 160 hours of unpaid work. He was disqualified from keeping dogs for three years.

Both men were ordered to pay £1,000 in costs plus a £115 victim surcharge.

Kent Online

Stapleford Abbotts, Romford: Edwin Harris

#TheList persistent hoarder Edwin Harris, born c. 1939, of Murthering Lane, Stapleford Abbotts, Romford RM4 – kept 13 dogs, six pigs, six cockerels, two ducks, four cats, a pigeon and a rook in foul conditions; breached previous ban

Edwin Harris continued to acquire animals despite being disqualified for life from having any. He then kept them in appalling conditions.
Edwin Harris continued to acquire animals despite being disqualified for life from having any. He then kept them in appalling conditions.

Harris was banned from keeping animals for life for a second time after he admitted breaching a previous ban when he was found to be keeping a large number of animals in appalling conditions.

He also admitted failing to provide the animals with a suitable environment and causing unnecessary suffering to Bella, a Shar Pei-type dog, by failing to adequately investigate and address the cause of her ear and skin conditions.

The RSPCA attended the address in May 2018 with the police and found a large number of animals being kept in appalling conditions.

Edwin Harris continued to acquire animals despite being disqualified for life from having any. He then kept them in appalling conditions.
A Jack Russell rescued from a life of misery at the hands of her cruel owner Edwin Harris

Dogs were found in small cages covered in mess and faeces with little or no water, and one was even found locked inside a cupboard which had been turned into a makeshift cage.

Six pigs were kept in a narrow space in an outbuilding with hardly any room to turn round.
Six pigs were kept in a narrow space in an outbuilding with hardly any room to turn round.

The cockerels, pigeon and rook were also kept in small cages covered in faeces, and the pigs were kept in a small narrow space within an outbuilding with hardly any room to turn round or exercise.

RSPCA Inspector Adam Jones said: “The conditions were appalling, most of the small animals and dogs were kept in cages and probably had not known any other life. They had obviously never been socialised and were scared.

“The cages had not been cleaned out and the animals were surrounded in their own faeces and dirt. If they did have water it was usually filthy. I was horrified to find one small Jack Russell being kept in a cupboard that the defendant had converted into some kind of makeshift cage.

“By his own admission the defendant had claimed he had a compulsion to keep animals because he loved them and he couldn’t stop taking them in. Had we not removed these animals it’s likely the numbers would have only increased – one of the pigs we removed had later had a litter of piglets.

“I hope that now he has been sentenced by the court the defendant will learn his lesson and not get animals which he clearly is unable to look after properly.”

Although the matter had crossed a custody threshold the bench said they had taken into account the defendant’s age and vulnerability and the fact that he has never been to prison before, but were keen for him to have some rehabilitation

In 2014 Harris was disqualified from keeping animals for life following a prosecution by the RSPCA.

Sentencing: Two-year community order with the requirement to carry out 135 hours of unpaid work and 60 days of Rehabilitation Activity Requirement; costs of £1,300 and a £85 victim surcharge. Lifetime ban on keeping animals.

Romford Recorder

Bean, Kent: Bill Ripley and Moses Brinkley

#TheList Bill Ripley, born c. 1972, and Moses Brinkley, born 25/09/1956, both of the travellers site in Claywood Lane, Bean, Dartford DA2 8BU – forced cockerels to fight to the death

Bill Ripley
Bill Ripley whose aliases include Shamo Bill and Shamo King Bill

Ripley, who is known in cockfighting circles as Shamo Bill or Shamo King Bill, and accomplice Moses Brinkley were investigated by the RSPCA and police after graphic videos were posted on Facebook.

The charity said the cockfighting was both “high level and organised” and one of the biggest cases it had seen.

RSPCA inspector Carroll Lamport said: “We joined police officers as they executed warrants at three plots on a travellers’ site in Bean, Kent, where we were able to identify some of the ‘venues’ shown online in the fighting videos.

Cockfighting den based at a travellers site in Dartford, Kent
Images taken at the cockfighting den based at a travellers site in Dartford, Kent

A total of 242 birds were found at the site, as well as fighting “paraphernalia” such as spurs and muffs, and books on the blood sport. A makeshift pit had been built next to a caravan for the birds to fight.

Officers downloaded videos of cockfights from social media accounts and mobile phones.

One video showed a fight during which cocks pulled out mouthfuls of feathers and pecked each other in the eyes with their sharp beaks. The fight continue for 10 minutes until one bird was drenched in blood and the other collapsed, struggling to breathe.

Prosecutor Andrew Wiles told magistrates cockfighting was outlawed in Britain in 1835, but remains prevalent in the UK and throughout the world.

These defendants deliberately fought birds, the result of which is to cause them suffering,’ he said.

‘The Facebook material, which is extensive, suggests Mr Ripley, has been breeding, keeping, selling and fighting cockerels for a considerable time. It shows an interest dating back to 1990,’ said Mr Wiles.

‘There were in fact a total of 45,000 images downloaded.’

The court heard Brinkley told the probation service ‘it is the culture of the travelling community’ and he and his friend ‘did it for fun’.

Speaking outside court, Inspector Lamport said: ‘For that level of organised fighting I would have expected a prison sentence.’

‘I’m somewhat disappointed because I think cockfighting is a very, very cruel activity and the level of what these guys were doing is at the very top.

‘This is organised and prolific cockfighting, causing immense suffering to the cockerels involved.

‘I think the disqualification was very light and I would have hoped they would have been banned for life.

‘These guys were doing organised and regular cockfights and promoting what they were doing, with people coming from all over the country and abroad.

‘It is a barbaric sport that was made illegal for all the right reasons.’

He added: ‘On a cruelty ranking, this is right at the top level where animals are forced to fight.

‘The wounds they get are horrendous and the suffering is caused over a long period of time.

‘This is an abhorrent act. Most people would be horrified to see the results of cockfighting and to think it goes on in this country is appalling.’

However, Brinkley’s daughter Violet Smith said the men, who lived on a travellers’ site, had been treated unfairly.

Bill Ripley with Violet Smith
Bill Ripley with Moses Brinkley’s daughter, Violet Smith

She said: “That is a travellers’ community thing to keep animals. We aren’t cruel to animals. We’re the type of people who put food out for animals. I don’t think it’s fair.”

Ripley and Brinkley each pleaded guilty to three charges of being present at an animal fight, one offence of keeping a premises for use in an animal fight and one offence of keeping animals for use in fighting.

The charges include five fights between July 2016 and March 2017, during which two birds were killed.

Sentencing: Ripley was given a 14-week sentence, suspended for a year, and Brinkley a 10-week term, suspended for a year.

The men were ordered to undertake rehabilitation, pay £865 in costs, and were disqualified for two years from keeping game fowl.

Ripley was also given a two-month curfew.

BBC News

Additional information:
Bill Ripley’s YouTube channel

Hexham, Northumberland: Wayne Lumsdon and Connor Patterson

#TheList barbaric wildlife criminals Wayne Lumsdon, born 08/12/1987, of 53 Park Road, Lynemouth, Morpeth NE61 5XJ and Connor Charles Patterson, born 18/06/1987, formerly of The Hope, Whitfield, Hexham, but as of April 2020 residing at Little Kenny Farm, Lintrathen, Kirriemuir, Angus DD8 5JD – forced animals to fight to the death and posted the footage on the internet

Wildlife criminals Wayne Lumsdon and Connor Patterson
Wayne Lumsdon (left) and Connor Patterson got their kicks from watching animals tearing each other apart

Wayne Lumsdon and Connor Patterson were jailed for offences relating to badgers, foxes, dogs, cats and cockerels. The pair were also banned from keeping animals for 15 and eight years respectively after boasting about their antics in text messages and keeping photos.

Lumsdon pleaded guilty to willfully killing a badger and two counts of causing an animal fight to take place.

Apprentice gamekeeper Patterson pleaded guilty to two counts of causing an animal fight to take place.

Wildlife criminal Wayne Lumsdon
Lumsdon is banned from keeping animals until 2026

Magistrates were read a series of texts exchanged by the pair in which Lumsdon bragged of “killing a badger” with his and another dog – something he described as “mint”.

The court was then shown a video of the badger being attacked by the two dogs, then footage of cocks fighting and again men’s voices could be heard encouraging them.

Magistrates heard clothes seen in the video were later traced to Lumsdon and that a text message of his referred to spurs used in cock fighting.

Further footage was shown to the court of a fox which had been snared being attacked by a dog. A stick was thrust into the fox’s mouth and a boot – which was later traced to Patterson – was shown on its neck. Again, men could be heard laughing and encouraging the dog with cries of “kill it”.

In the final bit of footage, a fox was shown in a cage with a dog. The animals are seen fighting with men’s voices encouraging them and hands shown holding the fox’s ears through the cage.

In interview, Patterson admitted he had been an apprentice gamekeeper and had a national diploma in countryside and game management. While studying for this, he had learnt how to use snares and traps.

On 25/3/2011 Wayne Lumsdon and Connor Patterson had their jail sentences cut because of a legal technicality. Judges at Newcastle Crown Court were forced to cut their prison sentences because the pair had not been given credit for pleading guilty at an earlier hearing. Patterson had his sentence reduced to 16 weeks. Lumsdon 26 weeks was cut to 21 by a judge at a separate hearing.

ChronicleLive 17/02/2011
ChronicleLive 25/03/2011

In November 2012 Patterson was convicted of further cruelty to animals alongside wife Caroline Patterson (aka Caroline Jordan) after a search warrant was executed at their cottage in Whitfield by Northumbria Police and RSPCA inspectors. A total of 55 animals including dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, turkeys, ducks and chickens were seized from the couple.

Animal abusers Connor Patterson and ex wife Caroline Patterson outside court
Connor Patterson and now ex-wife Caroline Patterson (now Caroline Jordan) outside court

The court heard animals had been left without a constant supply of fresh drinking water and some were underweight.

Dogs at the property were suffering from dental disease, while a turkey was left with an untreated lump in its ear.

Patterson was found to be in breach of his disqualification order although this and the cruelty charge were later overturned on appeal on the grounds that the animals were the responsibility of his wife.

Caroline Patterson was given a conditional discharge and was not banned from keeping animals.

Source: The Journal (article removed)