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Last Updated: Monday, 3 September 2007, 17:41 GMT 18:41 UK
Jury shown tape of dogs fighting
Pit bull terrier
Pit bulls are banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991
The jury in a dog-fighting trial has watched footage of a fight between two pit-bull terrier dogs.

They were shown the video as 25 men appeared in court in connection with what the RSPCA claims is one of the largest dog fights it has uncovered.

It took place at a Birmingham store, the city's magistrates court heard.

The men, aged between 18 and 42, are charged with offences including possessing a pit bull and causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

'Shouting and clapping'

Some of the men have pleaded guilty to charges and others appeared on Monday on trial after pleading not guilty.

Prosecuting for the RSPCA Nick Sutton said the dog owners, Waqqas Mughal, 18, of Unett Street, Smethwick, West Midlands, and Zahoor Hussain, 40, of Foley Road, Ward End, Birmingham, encouraged the animals to fight by shouting and clapping.

Mr Mughal pleaded guilty on Monday to charges of causing the dogs to fight, being present at a dog fight, possessing a pit bull terrier and causing unnecessary suffering.

Mr Hussain, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to the same charges.

It was a fight to the death
Nick Sutton, prosecuting for the RSPCA
The fight took place in rooms at the back of a kitchen interior store in February last year, the court heard.

The jury could hear squeals of pain and phrases such as "shake him" and "come on boy" as the dogs bit each other so badly that one was left covered in blood with hardly any hair round its face.

Mr Sutton compared the fight to a boxing match and said: "The fight going on was an extensive fight. It was a fight to the death."

One dog, which was hidden in ceiling tiles when the match was raided, died a few hours later and the other was so injured it was put down 48-hours later.

"This sort of thing is not something that happens overnight and something that somone wanders into by accident," Mr Sutton said.

Double decker bus

A total of 26 men were arrested and taken to a police station in a double decker bus, the court heard.

The court heard a carpeted fighting pit, created by arranging kitchen units around it, medical kits, a treadmill and portable kennels, were discovered in the premises.

A number of video tapes were also seized from cameras positioned throughout the room.

One of the men accused of attending the dog fight, Imran Arif, 29, of Sandway Gardens, Washwood Heath, did not attend Monday's hearing due to injury.

He pleaded not guilty to the offence at an earlier hearing.

A number of defendants changed their pleas to guilty at Monday's hearing after previously denying attending the dog fight.

They are:

  • Ansar Ayub, 33, of Foley Ward, Ward End, Birmingham
  • Nadeem Arif, 35 and Naveed Arif, 33, both of Sandway Gardens, Washwood Heath, Birmingham
  • Ali Basharat, 36, of St Margarets Avenue, Ward End, Birmingham
  • Zahoor Ahmed Hussain, 42, of Havelock Road, Alum Rock, Birmingham
  • Shiraz Hassan, 28, of Canada Street, Miles Platting, Manchester
  • Amanat Ali, 41, of Kitts Green Road, Lea Village, Birmingham
  • Akil Habib Khan, 27, of Leys Road, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire
  • Sajid Saed Shah, 26, of Grantham Road, Luton, Bedfordshire
  • Atif Farhan Tariq, 26, of Portman Road, Luton
  • Nissar Khan, 32, of Bowyer Road, Alum Rock, Birmingham
  • Ikhlaq Mohammed, 29, of Anglesey Street, Lozells, Birmingham
  • Asif Hussain, 32, of Boyer road, Alum Rock Birmingham

However, a number of other defendants have denied charges against them.

Sohail Hussain, 27, of Parkfield Road, Saltley, Birmingham, denies attending a dog fight and possessing a pit bull terrier.

Barkat Hussain, 42, of Unett Street, Smethwick, denies attending a dog fight, a charge of an owner permitting unnecessary suffering, possessing a pit bull and causing two dogs to fight.

Mamoon Iftikar Ahmed, 24, and Ummar Iftikar Ahmed, 26, both of Phipson Road, Birmingham, deny attending a dog fight and keeping premises for fighting.

Zahir Ahmed, 31, of Bevington Road, Aston, Birmingham denies charges of attending the fight and possessing a pit bull.

Intikab Hussain, 31, of Sladefield Road, Ward End, Birmingham denies attending a dog fight, causing animals to fight, possessing a pit bull and causing unnecessary suffering.

Yasser Mohammed Khalid, 25, of Rotton Park Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, Farid Mohammed, 26, of Grove Lane, Handsworth, Birmingham, Nabeel Mohammed Safdar, 25 of Ash Road, Saltley, Birmingham and Majid Mushtaq, 28, of Fletcher Road, Preston, Lancashire, all deny attending a dog fight.

The trial has been adjourned until Tuesday.

The courtroom watched graphic films of dogfighting

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