Chesham men jailed for dog fighting
By JulieGK | Wednesday, March 07, 2012, 11:33
Two Chesham men have been jailed and banned from keeping animals for life after a major investigation into organised dog fighting by the RSPCA and police.
Chesham men Javed Jahangir (left in dark trousers) and Sajid Mahmood (in grey tracksuit) have been jailed for dog fighting
Sajid Mahmood admitted having an illegal pit bull terrier type dog, Buster.
Footage seized during a series of warrants by RSPCA special operations unit and Thames Valley Police showed Javed Jahangir and Sajid Mahmood fighting their dogs in fields thought to be near their homes in Chesham.
The pair can be seen in several clips goading the animals to fight, as well as training them to fight.
On Friday, March 2, Jahangir (pictured in dark trousers) was 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 was also ordered to pay £5,000 costs and was banned for life from keeping animals.
Mahmood (pictured in grey tracksuit) 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 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."
Three other men have so far been dealt with by the courts for dog fighting offences as part of Operation Garm, while a fourth is currently awaiting sentence, after they were all identified in the footage seized during the warrants.
On November 28, 2011, Mohammed Butt from Chesham was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison and was banned from keeping all animals for life after he admitted three counts of causing an animal fight and one charge of keeping a dog called Rocky in connection with dog fighting.
On December 12, 2011, Azhar Hussain from 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.
On January 23, 2012, Daniel Bignell from Chesham was banned from keeping all animals for 10 years and given a 12-month community order, including 150 hours unpaid work, after he pleaded guilty to being present at a dog fight.
Safraz Hussain from Chesham also admitted being present at a dog fight. He will be sentenced at a hearing due to take place at Aylesbury Magistrates' Court on Monday, March 12 at 10am.
Chief Inspector Ian Hunter, Thames Valley Police's local policing commander for the Chiltern area, said: "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.
"RSPCA Chief Inspector Mike Butcher added: "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."
Allegations of dog fighting can be reported to the RSPCA in confidence on 0300 1234 999, 24 hours a day, all year around.