RSPCA: Men jailed for a string of dog fighting offences after RSPCA investigation

Chesham dog fighting ring smashed during major operation

Two Chesham men are the latest to be jailed and banned from keeping animals for life after a major investigation into organised dog fighting by the RSPCA and police.

Footage seized during a series of warrants by the RSPCA’s special operations unit and Thames Valley Police showed Javed Jahangir and Sajid Mahmood fighting their dogs in fields thought to be near their homes. The pair can be seen in several clips goading the animals to fight, as well as training them to fight.

Jahangir (pictured in dark trousers), of Milton Road, was today (2.3.12) sentenced to 20 weeks in prison after he admitted four charges linked to animal fighting, and one of having an illegal pit bull terrier type dog. He also ordered to pay £5,000 costs and banned for life from keeping animals.

Mahmood (pictured in grey tracksuit), of Batchelors Way, was also given a 20 week custodial sentence, banned from keeping animals for life and ordered to pay £1,500 costs. He admitted three charges linked to animal fighting, and one of having an illegal pit bull terrier type dog.

Reading Magistrates Court heard from the presiding district judge that both men had betrayed the relationship between man and dog.

Chief inspector Mike Butcher, of the RSPCA’s special operations unit, said: “Operation Garm has been a lengthy but highly successful investigation by the RSPCA, and Thames Valley Police who assisted throughout.

“Dog fighting is one of the most premeditated and barbaric forms of deliberate animal cruelty. We are delighted that all of those who have been brought to justice have so far been given bans on keeping animals.

“Hopefully the combination of the bans and the custodial sentences will send a clear message to anyone who is involved in dog fighting, or is thinking about taking part.

“This is the latest case to come before the courts, but we know that dog fighting remains a stain on this country’s deserved reputation as a nation of dog lovers. As with all dog fighting prosecutions we bring, the real victims in this are the animals themselves.

“We urge anyone who has any suspicions of dog fighting activity to report them to us immediately so that those responsible can be brought before the courts, just as these men have been.”

RSPCA and police officers carried out two warrants on 25 March last year as part of Operation Garm. The investigation was led by the RSPCA, with assistance from Thames Valley Police who received the initial intelligence about dog fighting activity in the Chesham area. One of the warrants was carried out at the home of Jahangir, from where a scarred pit bull terrier type dog called Buster was seized (pictured below).

Other items seized from the property included four mobile phones and a computer. The computer’s hard drive was examined and found to contain numerous photographs and video clips. The footage shows 28-year-old Jahangir fighting dogs with Mohammed Butt, as well as a further clip of him fighting dogs with Mahmood.

Following the identification of 29-year-old Mahmood in the footage, a further two warrants were carried out by RSPCA and police on 25 May 2011 at two properties in Chesham linked to him, on Batchelors Way and Peace Road. Items seized included a pit bull terrier type dog, muzzles, leads, computers, phones, cameras and media storage devices were all seized.

One of the video tapes seized from Mahmood’s property showed two clips of dog fighting, including one of him fighting his dog Buster. Butt also appears in the clip and admitted deliberately fighting his dog.

At an earlier hearing last year, Butt, 23, of Benham Close, Chesham, admitted three counts of causing an animal fight and one charge of keeping a dog called Rocky in connection with dog fighting. He appeared before Aylesbury Magistrates Court on 28 November 2011 when he was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison and was banned from keeping all animals for life.

Two other men have so far been dealt with by the courts for dog fighting offences as part of Operation Garm, while a third is currently awaiting sentence, after they were all identified in the footage seized during the warrants.

On 12 December 2011, Azhar Hussain, 28, of Amersham Hill, High Wycombe, was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison and banned from keeping all animals for 10 years after he pleaded guilty to causing a dog fight.

Daniel Bignell, 31, of Cresswell Road, Chesham, also previously pleaded guilty to being present at a dog fight. He appeared before Aylesbury Magistrates Court on 23 January when he was banned from keeping all animals for 10 years and given a 12 month community order, including 150 hours unpaid work.

Safraz Hussain, 44, of Shelley Road, Chesham, appeared before Aylesbury Magistrates Court on 23 January when he admitted being present at a dog fight. He will be sentenced at a hearing due to take place at the same court on Monday, 12 March at 10am.

Chief inspector Ian Hunter, Thames Valley Police’s local policing commander for the Chiltern area, said: “This operation is an excellent example of the partnership work between Thames Valley Police, the RSPCA and local authorities.

“This case came about as a result of concerns raised to police by local residents. I hope that today’s result shows that not only have we taken those concerns seriously, but that we and the RSPCA have used all the powers at our disposal to bring those responsible for these crimes to justice.

“This type of inhumane offence will not be tolerated by Thames Valley Police. I would urge anyone with information about this type of illegal activity to come forward and speak to police or the RSPCA immediately.”

Allegations of dog fighting can be reported to the RSPCA in confidence on 0300 1234 999, 24-hours a day, all year around.

 

-ends-

 

Notes to editors

 

For still images taken from the video footage contact the RSPCA national press office on 0300 123 0244 or email press@rspca.org.uk

 

Case footage can be downloaded from the following link:

https://rcpt.yousendit.com/1397104980/fc0e719aa66cdeeb1c19293f0e3c312a&rcpt=arobbins@rspca.org.uk

 

The footage shows Jahangir and Mahmood fighting dogs in a grass field, as well as footage of Jahangir and Mohammed Butt fighting dogs in a snow covered field.

RSPCA, Wilberforce Way, Southwater, Horsham, West Sussex RH13 9RS
Press office direct lines: 0300 123 0244/0288 Fax: 0303 123 0099
Duty press officer (evenings and weekends) Tel 08448 222888 and ask for pager number 828825
Email: press@rspca.org.uk Website: www.rspca.org.uk

Love hens? Enjoy eggs? Check out our guide to choosing cage-free eggs: http://www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/campaigns/farm/layinghens
**************************************************************************************
Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals registered charity no: 219099 Registered office: RSPCA, Wilberforce Way, Southwater, Horsham, West Sussex, RH13 9RS