[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 20 September 2007, 15:09 GMT 16:09 UK
Ten men convicted over dog fight
One of the injured dogs
The fight claimed the life of this bull terrier

Ten men have been convicted after police raided the biggest illegal dog fight uncovered in the UK since 1990.

One of the pit bull terriers died a few hours after the fight and the other was so badly injured he had to be put down.

A district judge found the 10 guilty of attending the fight. Five of them were fined, while five convicted of more serious charges have been remanded.

The trial at Birmingham Magistrates' Court had been shown a tape of the contest in Alum Rock, Birmingham.

The video showed the two dogs fighting in a pit constructed from kitchen units.

Spectators could be heard urging the animals on with cries of "shake him" and "come on boy".

For a super-fit pit bull to die so soon after the fight showed how terrible it must have been
Ch Insp Ian Briggs, RSPCA

District Judge Kal Qureshi issued fines ranging between 750 and 1,400 to the five men found guilty of attending the fight.

These are:

  • Mamoon Ahmed, 24, of Phipson Road, Birmingham
  • Yasser Khalid, 25, of Rotton Park Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham
  • Nabeel Safdar, 25, of Ash Road, Saltley, Birmingham
  • Majid Mushtaq, 28, of Fletcher Road, Preston, Lancashire
  • Imran Arif, 29, of Sandway Gardens, Washwood Heath, Birmingham
  • The other five have been remanded on bail for sentencing in October, along with two more men who admitted several offences before the trial.

    Mr Qureshi has told the men that custody is an option.

    The fight took place in rooms at the back of a kitchen unit shop in the Alum Rock area of Birmingham in February last year, the court heard.

    A carpeted fighting pit, medical kits, a treadmill and portable kennels, were discovered in the premises.

    The pit where the dogs fought
    The men organised this makeshift pit for the dogs to fight in

    One of the dogs was so badly bitten, he was covered in blood with hardly any fur on his face.

    One dog, Bullet, was found crammed in a ceiling void when the premises were raided. He died a few hours later and the other, Elvis, was put down 48 hours later.

    Finding the men guilty, Mr Qureshi ruled that all 10 who denied attending the fight had been there for at least 25 minutes.

    One man, Ummar Ahmed, 26, of Phipson Road, Birmingham, said he went to the showroom to attend a music party.

    Another man, Barkat Hussain, 42, of Unett Street, Smethwick, West Midlands, claimed one of the pit bulls was not his despite him referring to "my dog" three times while giving evidence.

    A further man claimed the fighting pit had been constructed as a dance floor.

    Earlier this month, 14 men were fined after pleading guilty to attending the fight.

    An injured dog
    One of the dogs died at the fight, the other was put down later
    The RSPCA, which brought the prosecution, said it was one of the largest dog fights it had ever uncovered.

    Ch Insp Ian Briggs of the RSPCA's special operations unit, said it was right that the judge took the case seriously.

    "Dog fighting is barbaric and this was one of the longest, most brutal and most highly-attended dog fights we've ever come across," he said.

    He added that the dogs' injuries had been "horrendous".

    "For a super-fit pit bull to die so soon after the fight showed how terrible it must have been."

    He added it was the largest fight uncovered for 25 years and that dog fighting appeared to be growing in popularity.

    "If we are entering a new area of dog fighting then we need to stamp it out fast," he said.

    The convicted men who will be sentenced in October are:

  • Barkat Hussain, 42, of Unett Street, Smethwick, West Midlands, and Intikab Hussain, 31, of Sladefield Road, Ward End, Birmingham. They were found guilty of attending the fight, causing animals to fight, possessing a pit bull and causing unnecessary suffering.
  • Sohail Hussain, 25, of Parkfield Road, Saltley, Birmingham and Zahir Ahmed, 31, of Bevington Road, Aston, Birmingham, who were convicted of attending the fight and possessing a pit bull.
  • Ummar Ahmed, 26, of Phipson Road, Birmingham, is guilty of attending the fight and keeping premises for dog fighting.
  • The more serious charges include possessing a pit bull and causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.


    VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
    The men set up the biggest dog fight seen for 150 years



    SEE ALSO

    RELATED INTERNET LINKS
    The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



    FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
    Has China's housing bubble burst?
    How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
    Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

    PRODUCTS & SERVICES

    Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific