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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 May 2006, 18:19 GMT 19:19 UK
Man guilty over French cockfight
Trevor Tully secretly filmed by the RSPCA at the cockfight in France
RSPCA secret filming showed Trevor Tully walking past the cockfight
A man involved in a cockfight in France has been convicted of possessing cockfighting implements after the RSPCA stopped him on his return to the UK.

The animal charity secretly filmed Trevor Tully, 58, of Silverhill Cottage, Shipbourne, Kent, at the event in northern France.

Tully was stopped as he left a ferry in Folkestone on 13 June last year.

He was found guilty of possession of cockfighting implements and spurs, which are attached to the birds' legs.

He was given a two-year conditional discharge at Folkestone Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, was ordered to pay 1,500 costs, and had the cockfighting equipment seized.

'Barbaric activity'

The practice is not banned by French authorities.

It has been illegal for more than 170 years in the UK, but because Tully was involved in a cockfight in another country he could only be prosecuted for possession offences.

Cockfighting spurs
The RSPCA said artificial spurs inflicted "horrendous injuries"

He said in court that the spurs were for display purposes only but the magistrates decided there was evidence they had been used in a cockfight.

Tully said he had an interest in cockfighting, but speaking after his sentencing he claimed he had a limited involvement in the French event.

"They used my name because I'm a very regular visitor to that particular area," he said.

The RSPCA's Mike Butcher said: "It is incredible that people are travelling to France to take part in a barbaric activity that was outlawed in 1835.

"We know flyers were being given out at one stage in Calais encouraging tourists to go to these cockfights, which is a bit horrendous.

"We know English enthusiasts go there."

Mr Butcher said cockfights usually resulted in the "very slow death" of both birds.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Hear more about Trevor Tully's court case



SEE ALSO:
Man jailed for 'brutal' cockfight
12 Apr 05 |  Southern Counties


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