Jail sentence upheld as dog fighter’s appeal fails


A woman who held dog fights in the garage of her Lincolnshire home has been jailed after her appeal against conviction failed, following a major investigation by the RSPCA’s special operations unit.

Claire Parker will immediately begin her original 18 week prison sentence after she failed in her appeal against conviction of dog fighting charges. Parker was found guilty of jointly using her garage as a venue for dog fights, as well as attending a dog fight and jointly possessing three pit bull terrier type dogs, following a trial in September this year.

The 43-year-old, of Kexby Lane, Kexby, Lincolnshire, yesterday (03/12/09) also saw her 10 year ban on keeping all animals upheld and must pay £2,000 costs, in accordance with her earlier sentence.

Her late-husband John Parker was also due to stand trial in September this year on dog fighting charges, but he died before the hearing while in prison for other offences.

Mohammed Nasir Farooq will begin a 22 week custodial sentence after his conviction on four charges, including attending and taking part in a dog fight at Parker’s property, was upheld. Lincoln Crown Court, sitting at the town’s magistrates court, was told Farooq acted as a time keeper at a fight staged in Parker’s garage. His appeal against convictions of keeping pit bull terrier type dogs for fighting and possession of items used in connection with dog fighting – namely two treadmills – also failed.

The 34-year-old, of Daniel’s Road, Bordesley Green, Birmingham, was banned from keeping all animals for life and must pay £2,000 costs, in accordance with the original sentence passed following trial. He had previously admitted joint possession of three pit bull type dogs.

A youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, also failed in their bid to overturn convictions of joint possession of items used in connection with an animal fight and jointly keeping a pit bull terrier type dog for use in animal fights.

The youth, who had previously admitted joint possession of three pit bull terrier type dogs, saw the original sentence of a six-month referral order upheld, as well as a five year ban on keeping all animals.

However, both the youth and Farooq were successful in their appeals against conviction of two charges each of causing unnecessary suffering to pit bull terrier type dogs.

The three appellants were discovered as part of a major investigation into organised dog fighting across England by the RSPCA’s special operations unit. The investigation, named Operations Cannon and Castle, hinged on intelligence gather by the RSPCA, as well as footage taken by an undercover reporter working for the BBC’s Panorama programme.

The footage obtained by the BBC showed Gary Adamson, from Cleveland, reveal details of a dog fight that took place at Parker’s Kexby home, as well as the names of some of those who attended – including Farooq – to the undercover reporter. Work by the RSPCA’s special operations unit led them to others connected to the fight.

Searches were then carried out at premises across eight different counties by RSPCA inspectors who discovered dog fighting equipment including several treadmills, training aids, veterinary kits and breaking sticks – used to prise apart the jaws of dogs during a fight. Many of those prosecuted also had elaborate kennels at their homes where they trained their dogs for fighting.

The investigation led to the discovery of 35 fighting dogs, of which more than half had sustained fighting injuries and showed scars from previous bouts.

One of the biggest discoveries was of the blood stained fighting pit, constructed in Parker’s garage, where Adamson and Kenneth King fought their dogs. The inspectors also found three pit bull type dogs and treadmills, used to build up dogs’ stamina and fitness, at Parker’s home.

Chief inspector Mike Butcher, of the RSPCA’s special operations unit, said: “This is one of the biggest ever dog fighting investigations by the RSPCA. It spanned eight counties across the UK and involved joint RSPCA and police teams which discovered 35 fighting dogs – more than half with fighting injuries.

“The late Stephen Ibinson, the reporter who carried out the BBC investigation for Panorama, must take an enormous amount of credit for his bravery and determination, which has helped result in these successful convictions.

“Many people don’t realise that dog fighting is still a major problem in England and Wales in 2009, but sadly it is. While there are still those people who think it is acceptable to fight dogs for their own sick entertainment, the RSPCA and police will continue to bring them to justice.

“Anyone with information about dog fighting should contact the RSPCA in confidence on 0300 1234 999.”

Adamson (23 weeks), King (23 weeks) and Owen Batey (23 weeks) were all jailed in September this year after they admitted the charges – including causing an animal fight to take place and taking part in a dog fight – against them. All three were also banned from keeping animals for life and ordered to pay £1,500 costs each.

The investigation also led the RSPCA to Christopher Burgess who admitted one charge of joint possession of a pit bull type dog. He was sentenced to 160 hours unpaid work and £250 costs.

Jane Adamson was also banned from keeping dogs for 10 years and given an 18-month community and supervisory order after she pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a dog, by failing to obtain veterinary treatment for the wounds suffered by her husband Gary Adamson’s dog Pablo. She was also ordered to pay £150 costs.

Full charge details:

Gary Adamson (26/01/1971), of Davenport Road, Yarm, Cleveland, admitted six charges: causing an animal fight to take place, taking part in an animal fight, possession of items used in connection with an animal fight, keeping a pit bull terrier type dog called Pablo for use in connection with an animal fight, jointly causing unnecessary suffering to a pit bull terrier type dog called Pablo by failing to provide veterinary attention in respect of injuries caused by fighting and possession of a pit bull terrier type dog known as Pablo.

Owen Anthony Batey (26/11/1968), of Cannock Road, Middlesborough, admitted three charges: causing an animal fight to take place, being present at an animal fight and possession of a pit bull terrier type dog known as Banjo.

Christopher John Burgess (24/11/1966), of Longstone Way, Ladybrook, Mansfield, admitted one charge: joint possession of a pit bull terrier type bitch.

Kenneth Harold King (14/12/73), of Main Street, Ragnall, Newark, Nottinghamshire, admitted eight charges: causing an animal fight to take place, taking part in an animal fight, causing unnecessary suffering to a pit bull terrier type dog known as Chief by causing the animal to fight with another, causing unnecessary suffering to a pit bull terrier type dog known as Chief by failing to obtain veterinary attention in respect of injuries sustained in a fight with another dog, possession of items used in connection with an animal fight, keeping a pit bull terrier type dog known as Chief for use in an animal fight, possession of two pit bull terrier type dogs, and joint possession of a pit bull terrier type bitch.

Jane Adamson (22/12/1970), of The Old Market, Yarm, Cleveland, admitted one charge: causing unnecessary suffering to a pit bull terrier type dog named Pablo by failing to obtain veterinary attention in respect of injuries sustained in a fight.

Claire Amanda Parker (15/12/64), of Kexby Lane, Kexby, Lincolnshire, failed in an appeal against conviction of three charges: being present at an animal fight, jointly keeping a premises for use for an animal fight and joint possession of three pit bull terrier type dogs.

Mohammed Nasir Farooq (16/9/75), of Daniels Road, Bordesley Green, Birmingham, admitted one charge: joint possession of three pit bull terrier type dogs.

He failed in an appeal against convicted of a further four charges: taking part in an animal fight, being present at an animal fight, joint possession of items used in connection with an animal fight and jointly keeping a pit bull terrier type dog for use in an animal fight.

He was successful in appeal against conviction on charges of jointly causing unnecessary suffering to a pit bull terrier type dog by causing it to fight with another dog and jointly causing unnecessary suffering to a pit bull terrier type dog by failing to obtain veterinary attention in respect of injuries sustained in a fight with another dog

A youth aged under 18 admitted one charge: jointly had possession of three pit bull terrier type dogs.

The youth failed in an appeal against conviction of a further two charges: jointly having possession of items used in connection with an animal fight and jointly keeping a pit bull terrier type dog for use in an animal fight.

The youth was successful in appeal against conviction on charges of jointly causing unnecessary suffering to a pit bull terrier type dog by causing it to fight with another dog and jointly causing unnecessary suffering to a pit bull terrier type dog by failing to obtain veterinary attention in respect of injuries sustained in a fight with another dog.

http://www.politics.co.uk/opinion-formers/press-releases/animal-welfare/rspca-jail-sentence-upheld-as-dog-fighter%E2%80%99s-appeal-fails-$1345040$366366.htm

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