#TheList Kieran John Jerome Mitchell, born 27/05/1995, of Keswick Crescent, Plymouth PL6 – punched and slapped his pet dog 36 times causing him to suffer wounds to his head and ears
Convicted cannabis dealer Mitchell, formerly of Penrose Street, Stonehouse, Plymouth, was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to the bull terrier Hugo in November 2017. He was convicted in his absence back in July 2018 and a warrant issued for his arrest the following month.
Mitchell surrendered to custody in March 2020. He was released on bail but failed to turn up at the next hearing. Magistrates have now issued a further arrest warrant.
The RSPCA, which brought the case, said concerns were raised about the welfare of Hugo, after they were sent an anonymous audio recording of him being beaten and taunted by Mitchell.
RSPCA prosecutor Lindi Meyer told the court it was a “nasty sustained attack” with a total of 36 hits, punches or slaps heard on the recording.
As Mitchell attacked the dog he can be overheard goading him, asking him: “Are you crying now? Whimpering?”
The RSPCA seized Hugo from Mitchell and took him to a vet for examination. The vet found three lesions on his face, one of which was near an eye. The vet said that the beating would have been a traumatic experience for Hugo, causing him to feel “terror, fear, pain and anxiety”.
Mitchell admitted in his interview that he smacked Hugo and would rub his nose in it if he fouled on the floor.
The presiding magistrate told Mitchell: “You acted in anger against an innocent animal.”
Sentencing: 24 weeks in prison. £115 victim surcharge. Banned from owning animals for ten years.
#TheList Liam Patterson, born c. 1993, of Eastfield Road, Dumfries DG1 – trained three dogs for animal fighting
Liam Patterson was found in possession of videos on his personal devices showing his dogs fighting and being trained to fight. Dog fighting paraphernalia and photos were also found at his home.
Patterson pleaded guilty to training dogs for, causing and taking part in animal fighting. This is contrary to the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 under Section 23 (1) (a) (2) (e).
He also admitted to being in possession of an American pit bull terrier which is a banned breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.
Two of the dogs involved in the case were Staffordshire bull terriers named Zeus and Gucci and the American pit bull was called Bubba. All three were signed in to the care of the Scottish SPCA. Sadly Bubba had to be put to sleep because he was a banned breed.
An undercover Scottish SPCA special investigations unit inspector said, “We received information from the League Against Cruel Sports that Patterson was keeping and training dogs for the purposes of dog fighting and currently had fighting dogs at his home address.
“The intelligence we received also stated there was dog fighting equipment, books and gear at his home address.
“Due to immediate concerns for the welfare of the dogs, we obtained a search warrant and gained entry to the property where we found the three dogs. All appeared to be in good body condition.
“At the location, we found numerous items relating to dog fighting including weighted collars which are used as a training aid to strengthen and build endurance.
“Multiple videos of his own dogs fighting were found on Patterson’s personal devices. In many, he can be heard shouting encouragement in the background. Other footage discovered included other, unknown, dogs fighting and dogs with injuries consistent with fighting.
“Other videos showed Gucci, Zeus and Bubba being put through a vigorous training regime in line with dog fighting practice.
“Messages were found between Patterson and an unknown individual discussing plans to attend and enter in dog fights and their dogs’ ability to fight to the death. Communication was also discovered outlining Patterson’s desire to buy and sell American pit bulls.
“Over the course of this investigation, it became clear that Patterson had a fascination, verging on obsession, with dog fighting and breeds relating to the American pit bull. How he could hold these dogs in such high regard and let them fight each other with little regard for their welfare is very difficult to comprehend.
“We are very pleased with the sentence that has been handed to Patterson and we hope this is seen as a deterrent to other, active dog fighters.
“Dog fighting is such a well-guarded and underground crime, it’s extremely difficult to detect and investigate. We are proud to be leading the way using intelligence and expertise to bring these people to justice.
“The Scottish SPCA Special Investigation Unit is dedicated to combatting animal fighting. If anyone has any information pertaining to individuals who are involved in this activity, we would urge them to contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”
Martin Sims, director of investigations for the League Against Cruel Sports said: “We’re very proud that it was our intelligence work that has been the basis for this conviction, but what this case serves to show to the public is how abhorrent the world of dog fighting is and why the courts need to have more sentencing powers to properly punish those involved.
“In England and Wales legislation is moving through parliament to see maximum custodial sentences for animal cruelty increased from six months to five years, but we are today calling on the Scottish Parliament to stop consulting on increasing sentences for animal cruelty and get on with passing the legislation that will be a proper deterrent to people like Liam Patterson who inflict pain on animals just to make money.”
Sentencing: 300-hour community payback order; 162-day restriction of liberty order. Banned from owning a dog for 15 years.
#TheList Daniel Stasik, born c. 1988, of 6 Walker Grove, Hatfield AL10 9PL – allowed his banned-breed ‘fighting’ dog to savage a pet cat and failed to get help for the stricken animal
At around 11am on June 23, 2018, a pitbull-type dog owned by Daniel Stasik chased a cat named Shelly into an alleyway in Walker Grove and attacked her. Stasik grabbed the dog, but was unable to keep control of him.
He did not attempt to assist the cat or find her owners to get medical assistance.
Around 1am the following morning, Shelly was found by her owner in a nearby garden covered in blood and faeces and unable to place any weight on her hind legs.
Due to the length of time she had been left, there were maggots around her wounds.
Over the next few days, Shelly’s condition deteriorated and following multiple treatments and attempts at resuscitation, she died from her injuries on July 1, 2018.
On July 20, officers from the Welwyn Hatfield Safer Neighbourhood Team and the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Dog Unit attended Stasik’s address to execute a warrant to seize his dog.
The dog was examined and confirmed to be substantially a pit bull-type.
Stasik was reported to court for possessing a fighting dog under Section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act and causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal under Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act.
At court, Stasik pleaded guilty to possessing a fighting dog and, while initially pleading not guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to Shelly, was found guilty of that offence.
PC Gavin Richardson, from the Welwyn Hatfield West Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “Pit bulls are banned in the UK and Stasik’s dog posed a very serious danger to public safety.
“Not only did Stasik have possession of a banned dog breed, but he made no attempts to help save the cat and instead simply left her to die.
“This was extremely distressing for her owners who found their beloved pet in an incredibly distressed state with horrendous injuries.
“I hope that this sentence provides some justice for the victims and that the public feel safe knowing that Stasik will not be allowed to have dog for another decade.”
Sentencing: 240 hours of unpaid community work. Ordered to pay compensation to Shelly’s owners for vet costs and to the police for kenneling costs. Banned from having custody of a dog for 10 years. Stasik’s dog was ordered to be put down, unless an appeal is lodged within 21 days.
=== Update We’re building quite a profile on this piece of filth. He is from Poland. He came to the UK in 2009 to work as a painter/decorator but is now living on benefits. He showed no remorse in court and he and his friend seemed to find the proceedings amusing. He freely admitted in court that he beat his dog. Another cat belonging to Shelly’s heartbroken owner died after being deliberately poisoned. This happened just after Stasik was charged. Coincidence? Stasik has another address in Prayle Grove, London NW2 1BD
#TheList James Silvers, born c. 1996, formerly of Hickinwood Crescent, Clowne, Chesterfield S43 4AQ, and possibly now living in Nottingham – left his dogs locked in crates for several days while he went away
James Silver pleaded guilty to two offences of failing to meet the needs of bull terriers Lola and Blue, whom he had kept locked in “prison cells” without food or water.
The RSPCA was alerted to the dogs by a concerned member of the public and an inspector went to the property in New Street, Pilsley, with the police.
Inspector Rachel Leafe said: “There were two crates, one on top of the other, with one dog in each. These weren’t big crates either – they were big enough for them to stand up, but that was all. There was no food or water in the crates, just empty bowls which were bone dry, and they just had rags sodden with urine to lie on. There was also faeces around the edges of the crates.
“It is horrific to think that they had to live in these conditions. It was as though both dogs were living in their own little prison cells.”
After being rescued, both dogs were cared for by the RSPCA. Staffordshire bull terrier Lola was rehomed but Blue wasn’t so lucky. A police dog legislation officer identified him as a banned breed under Section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act and, as a result, he was put to sleep.
Inspector Leafe said: “This is a very sad ending as we were hoping to see Blue into a new home. The RSPCA do not make these decisions. We do not agree with Breed Specific Legislation and have been campaigning for changes for some time.”
Sentencing: nine-month community order; total of £205 fine and charges. Five-year ban on keeping animals (expires August 2023).
#TheList Tomas ‘Evo’ Evison, born 24/01/1989, most recent known address Woolley Wood Road, Sheffield S5 0UF – admitted breeding, selling and possessing a number of fighting dogs, who the court ordered to be ‘destroyed’
Evison admitted two counts of possession of a fighting dog, one count of selling a fighting dog and one count of breeding fighting dogs. An order was also made to destroy the dogs.
In July 2016, officers from South Yorkshire Police executed a warrant at Evison’s address, where they found a male and female pit bull terrier – dogs which are banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act. The female pit bull terrier was found to be pregnant when officers seized the animals, but Evison disclaimed the litter.
Temporary Sergeant Matt Duffy from the Status Dogs team said: “Evison’s activities potentially put the lives of his family, friends and the wider community at risk by breeding and selling banned breeds.
“His actions could have led to the suffering of other dogs and animals, as well as the potential to cause significant distress to dog owners if their dogs have to be taken from them.
“We are committed to protecting our communities and will always investigate reports relating to the ownership, breeding and/or selling of banned breeds.”
Sentence: 80 hours of unpaid work, 25 days’ supervision, fined £145; banned from keeping, owning or participating in the keeping or selling dogs for five years (expires March 2022).
#TheList Kerry Alun Evans, born c. 1987, most recently of Twelfth Avenue, Merthyr Tydfil CF47 9TB – kept and bred dogs for vicious fights
Evans was involved in organised dog fighting and kept six pitbull terriers to be used in this barbaric crime.
Following a search of Evans’ home and sheds at Pengarnddu in Merthyr Tydfil, six dogs and items of dog fighting equipment were found.
Officers also found syringes and antibiotics allegedly used to treat dogs after fights.
A vet who examined the dogs said they displayed numerous facial and bodily scars and concluded that the dogs had received their wounds from dogs bites, also stating that the injuries would have caused the dogs to suffer if no veterinary treatment had been sought.
The dogs were ordered to be destroyed by the RSPCA
The court heard that dog fighting existed in a “small fraternity” who met across the country and trained their animals specifically to fight.
Sentence: six-month custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months; 200 hours of unpaid work; £1,000 towards the £50k prosecution costs. Banned from owning dogs for 8 years (expires March 2022).
#TheList Javed Jahangir, born 05/06/1983, of 43 Milton Road, Chesham HP5 2ET and Sajid Mahmood, born 01/03/1983, formerly of Batchelors Way, Chesham and as at 2019 of 23 Victoria Road, Tipton, West Midlands DY4 8SN – admitted a series of offences relating to illegal dog fighting
Javed Jahangir and Sajid Mahmood were both jailed for offences the RSPCA described as “one of the most premeditated and barbaric forms of deliberate animal cruelty”.
A raid on Jahangir’s home in Milton Road led to officers finding a pitbull terrier-type dog – a breed banned by the Dangerous Dogs Act – and a computer containing footage showing the two men fighting dogs in fields thought to be close to their homes.
Habitual criminal Mahmood, who has previous convictions for violent street robbery and car theft was identified from the footage and this led to the RSPCA searching further properties in Chesham that he had links to.
There, officers found another pit bull terrier-type dog, muzzles, leads, computers, phones, cameras and media storage devices – all of which were seized.
Jahangir admitted four offences linked to animal fighting and one of having an illegal dog, while Mahmood pleaded guilty to three fighting-related charges and to having an illegal dog.
The operation to bring the pair to justice was a joint one between the RSPCA and Thames Valley Police.
Chief inspector Mike Butcher, of the RSPCA’s special operations unit, said: “Dog fighting is one of the most premeditated and barbaric forms of deliberate animal cruelty. We are delighted that all of those who have been brought to justice have so far been given bans on keeping animals.
“Hopefully the combination of the bans and the custodial sentences will send a clear message to anyone who is involved in dog fighting, or is thinking about taking part.”
The Chiltern district’s area commander Chief Inspector Ian Hunter said: “This case came about as a result of concerns raised to police by local residents. I hope that today’s result shows that not only have we taken those concerns seriously, but that we and the RSPCA have used all the powers at our disposal to bring those responsible for these crimes to justice.
“This type of inhumane offence will not be tolerated by Thames Valley Police. I would urge anyone with information about this type of illegal activity to come forward and speak to police or the RSPCA immediately.”
Sentencing: jailed for 20 weeks; Jahangir was ordered to pay £5,000 in prosecution costs and Mahmood £1,500. Both men were banned from keeping animals for life.
#TheList David Brinley Braddon (also known as Dai Brad), born 01/05/1963, of 11 Glyn Llwyfen, Llanbradach, Caerphilly CF83 3PL – owned five banned pit bull terrier dogs and was involved in dog fighting
After a three-day trial in June 2010, father-of-five David Brinley Braddon was found guilty of keeping or training a dog for use in connection of animal fighting, guilty of having articles for use in connection of animal fighting and guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a dog.
On 17 March 2009, officers from the RSPCA special operations unit joined South Wales Police to execute a search warrant at Braddon’s home. A search of the property revealed five pit bull terrier type dogs, four of them being kept in an elaborate kennel set-up in a garage at the rear of the property.
A motorised and a manual treadmill with attachments for dog collars, which are commonly used to train animals before a fight were also discovered.
Braddon’s refrigerator contained a bottle of the penicillin Duphacillin, an animal antibiotic normally only dispensed by a vet. They also discovered a set of weighing scales for use when the dogs were being weighed in before fights and various books on pit bulls and dog fighting including a manual entitled Dogs of Velvet and Steel which was known as the “dog fighter’s bible”.
One of the dogs found at Braddon’s home during the search was known as Otis (pictured). The animal fitted the name, description and photographs of a dog listed in many magazines and fight reports seized by the RSPCA during its investigations into organised dog fighting. Otis featured as having won two fights which was recorded in the Pit Bull Year Book 2008. That dog had 42 separate scars and another dog had 21 scars.
RSPCA chief inspector Mike Butcher said: “It is a major breakthrough for us to successfully prosecute someone like David Braddon.
“He is a major figure among the British dog fighting community, making it all the more pleasing to see him brought to justice.
“Despite this horrific so-called ‘sport’ being banned as long ago as 1835, there remains a network of organised dog fighters still operating across Britain.
“These people are responsible for some of the most deliberate and barbaric acts of animal cruelty the society investigates.
“It remains a constant battle to find these elusive characters and bring them to justice, but the RSPCA remains entirely committed to doing just that.”
Braddon has five children: Emma (born 1984), Amy (born 1986), David James (born 1988), Nikki (born 1990) and Megan Rhian (born 2002). In 2015 son David James Braddon was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder.
Sentencing: jailed for six months later reduced to 16 weeks on appeal; £1000 costs. Disqualified from keeping animals for 15 years (expires July 2025). All five banned breed dogs were ordered to be destroyed