Ban as dog fight charges dropped

AN allegation that a Glodwick couple organised dog fights has been withdrawn by the RSPCA.

Raja Hussain
Raja Hussain

Raja Hussain (28) and Tasleem Akhtar (33) appeared before magistrates in Oldham on Friday, when all charges against Mrs Akhtar, of Mansfield Road, were dropped.

Her husband admitted eight charges relating to animal welfare and keeping dangerous dogs, but previous charges relating to dog-fighting were withdrawn.

Hussain, who gave his address as Brook Lane, was banned from keeping any domestic pets for a period of five years after he signed over the ownership of three pit bull-type dogs to the RSPCA.

The charges against him related to causing unnecessary suffering to three dogs by failing to provide them with veterinary care, failing to protect two dogs from pain, suffering, injury and disease, and keeping dangerous dogs without the correct paperwork.

Mark Harper, prosecuting for the RSPCA, told the court that two of the dogs were discovered with new and old bite and puncture wounds, and the third with a severe ear infection.

Tasleem Akhtar
Tasleem Akhtar

They were found at the two houses where Hussain’s wife and mother live, and between which he split his time.

One dog, called Hitler, was confined in a recess under the stairs by a metal gate, surrounded by urine -soaked newspaper, and had fresh wounds, a badly swollen face, puncture wounds on the inside of his lips, face, neck and forelegs, and no food or water.

A second, Sandy, was in a puppy crate in the kitchen and had a severe ear infection, and the third, Demon, was in an outside wire mesh dog pen.

Demon had multiple healing bite wounds to his face and forelegs, and a “nasty wound” to the tip of his tail.

Tim Hughes, defending, said Hussain did not know the dogs were of a type prohibited under the Dangerous Dogs Act when he bought them as puppies, and was told by a vet they were Staffordshire bull terriers.

He said security guard Hussain could not afford to take the dogs to a vet after they were involved in fights and had tried to treat them himself.

He said Demon was injured in a fight with Sandy, and Hitler was hurt when he fought another dog which had got into the garden.

Mr Hughes said Hussain was “embarrassed, ashamed and apologetic”, for not taking them to the vets, and had “learnt a harsh lesson”.

District Judge James Prowse told Hussain after seeing photographs of the injured animals: “To leave a dog with those sort of injuries for any period of time is unacceptable.”

He said of Hitler, the worst injured: “That animal had taken a mauling and was badly beaten. What you did was inexcusable.

“You let those animals down very badly and in a wholly unacceptable way.”

Hussain, who has no previous convictions, was also ordered to complete 100 hours of community service in the next 12 months, and told to pay £250 towards the RSPCA’s £17,800 costs of vets and boarding fees, and £2,111 of investigation costs.


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