Category Archives: cockfighting

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

Fareham, Hampshire: James Goddard

#TheList: gypsy traveller James Eli Lloyd Goddard, born 06/06/1991, of 1 Mayles Close, Fareham PO17 5NF – beat a cockerel to death with a metal skewer as others filmed him

Filth: Gypsy Jimmy Goddard from Fareham was filmed by others beating a helpless cockerel to death with a metal skewer
Filth: Gypsy Jimmy Goddard from Fareham was filmed by others beating a helpless cockerel to death with a metal skewer

In a horrendous attack against a defenceless animal, Goddard chased the cockerel around a fenced area with a metal kebab skewer. As the cockerel attempts to run away, Goddard lunges at him, picks him up and beats him to death. As the bird dies Goddard celebrates with his arms in the air.

Police uncovered the video while carrying out a separate investigation.

Convicted animal abuser: gypsy Jimmy Goddard
A scan of convicted animal abuser Jimmy Goddard’s Facebook profile shows that his cruelty towards a helpless cockerel was not a one-off.

RSPCA Chief Inspector Will Mitchell described the violent footage: ‘Mr Goddard chases the bird around taking swipes with the 3ft-long metal skewer like a baseball bat.

‘He then grabs hold of the cockerel, holds him upside down by his feet and, while the bird frantically flaps around and tries to escape his clutches, he beats his head with the pole.

‘He swings at the poor bird again and again, hitting him in the head like a pinata.

‘He then throws the bird’s body onto the ground and celebrates the vicious kill.

‘It’s absolutely shocking to watch. His violent behaviour and the savage cruelty he shows towards this bird is difficult to comprehend.”

Sergeant Andy Williams from Hampshire Constabulary’s Country Watch team said: ‘We are pleased that Goddard has finally been punished for what really was a shocking and cowardly act against the animal.

‘We work closely with our partners from the RSPCA on a variety of rural and animal welfare matters.

‘Offences such as this have no place in modern society. When information is received about such offences, the Country Watch team is only too pleased to assist in investigating them and bringing offenders to justice.’

Sentencing: 18-week custodial sentence; total of £865 costs and charges. Banned from keeping any animal for five years.

BBC News
The London Economic

Update October 2019: Goddard was jailed for nearly three years for knocking down and seriously injuring two women on a pedestrian crossing.

After the collision Goddard left the scene and the Ford Focus he had been driving was located several hours later.

Goddard was sentenced to two years for each count of causing serious injury, was disqualified from driving for three years and must take an extended retest.

He was also handed an additional 10 month prison sentence (with a concurrent one year driving ban) for another dangerous driving incident committed whilst on bail, bringing his total jail term to 2 years and 10 months.

Rowan West travellers site, Darlington, County Durham: William Henry Welch and William Chates

#TheList William (‘Billy’) Henry Welch, born c. 1989, and William Chates, born c. 1965, both of Rowan West caravan site, Levisham Lane, Darlington DL2 1QZ – for “horrific and abhorrent” cockfighting offences

Travellers Billy Welsh (top left) and William Chates organised and participated in cruel cockfights
Travellers Billy Welsh (top left) and William Chates organised and participated in cruel cockfights

North Yorkshire Police officers described footage of the cockfights, recorded on a mobile phone, as one of the worst examples of animal cruelty they had ever seen – and hailed the “landmark” custodial sentence.

On 13 January 2018, acting on an anonymous call to the police control room, officers from North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce and the RSPCA attended premises at Skutterskelf, near Stokesley, North Yorkshire.

A number of men were located there. Officers searched buildings and vehicles, and seized a total of 27 live birds, some of which were bleeding from fresh cuts to the body and head. Inside a stable block, officers located bird feathers, and dried and fresh bloodstains on the floor and carpet.

During the enquiry, an examination was carried out on a mobile phone recovered from Welch, which revealed he was present at a number of other cockfights, on 19 December 2017 and 4 January 2018.

Investigators described the extremely graphic video footage on the phone as “sickening”.

The RSPCA provided expert evidence about the condition of the birds, and arranged for their safe storage and ongoing care.

Billy Welch pleaded guilty to charges of causing an animal fight to take place, keeping animals for fighting, and being present at an animal fight on three occasions in December 2017 and January 2018.

Travellers Billy Welsh (top left) and William Chates organised and participated in cruel cockfights
William Henry Welch

Jailing Welch, magistrates told him: “You put your own recreational needs before the welfare of your animals, in the most horrific and abhorrent circumstances.”

William Chates pleaded guilty to being present at an animal fight.

Two further defendants were found not guilty.

Billy Welch was sentenced to 20 weeks in jail, disqualified from keeping all animals for 20 years, and ordered to pay a total of £2,000 costs.

William Chates was sentenced to 120 hours of unpaid work, disqualified from keeping all animals for 10 years, and ordered to pay £170 costs.

North Yorkshire Police
Northern Echo

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.

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.

The Journal