Poole man jailed after admitting a string of cockfighting offences

A man from Poole who admitted organising and attending cockfights in Dorset has been jailed for 18 weeks.

Martyn Dashwood was yesterday (7.5.14) also given a lifetime ban on keeping birds by magistrates who said they considered the offences serious enough to warrant a custodial sentence.

The 32-year-old, of Oaks Drive, had previously admitted 16 charges related to cockfighting, including six of causing an animal fight to take place, eight of being present at an animal fight and two of causing unnecessary suffering to cockerels.

RSPCA inspector Graham Hammond said: “This man deliberately organised brutal animal fights in which cockerels would be pitted against each other with only one purpose – to inflict injury upon their opponent, and potentially death.

“Why anybody would see such an act of such blatant and premeditated cruelty as entertainment is beyond me, but it is also beyond the law which has outlawed this barbaric activity in England since 1835.

“Dashwood must have known that he was breaking the law, but he chose to film these sickening fights for his own posterity. Little did he know at the time that this footage would ultimately be what helped the RSPCA prosecute him and see him sent to prison.

“The magistrates made it clear that Dashwood was instrumental in arranging cockfights and I am pleased that they chose to ban this man from ever owning a bird again in his life.”

The bench at Bournemouth Magistrates’ Court was (7.5.14) told that Dashwood had initially been stopped by police in September 2012 on suspicion of unrelated offences.

Two mobile phones were seized from him and later analyzed by police, who discovered videos of cockfighting as well as images of fowl and game birds.

The RSPCA were alerted to the evidence in late November 2012 and following further investigation it was concluded that the footage appeared to show cockfighting at a location on Belben Road, in Poole, where there had been historical complaints of such activity.

Checks confirmed Dashwood has been a resident on Belben Road between January 2009 and February 2012. This tied in with the footage seized from the mobile phones, which was dated between September 2011 and January 2012.

A search warrant was executed by Dorset Police, with RSPCA officers in attendance, at Dashwood’s home on Oak Drive on 16 May last year and he was arrested on suspicion of committing animal fighting offences.

There were no adult birds at the address, but there were some eggs in an incubator which were left in place.



Notes to editors

A short clip of case footage is available to download from http://bit.ly/1irRc06

There are no photographs available for this case.

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