BBC 🔵 Dog fighting group helped run bouts across Europe – Shango Media
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BBC 🔵 Dog fighting group helped run bouts across Europe

A dog fightRSPCA

Four people have been found guilty of helping to run a dog fighting ring that organised bouts across Europe.

RSPCA officers found dogs had been chained to treadmills at a house in Essex owned by Phillip Ali, known in the dog fighting world as Dr Death.

Fights had been held at a property in Takeley as well as in the Republic of Ireland and France, a trial heard.

The defendants, who shared match reports on the bouts, will be sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court on 3 June.

Warning: Article contains distressing detail

The RSPCA investigation was launched after an officer visited 67-year-old Ali’s address in Manford Way, Chigwell, in August 2021.

During several visits to the property, visibly injured dogs were found alongside a stick used to break up dog fights and a DIY vet kit – including a text entitled The Dog Repair Book.

A picture taken by Phillip Ali of a fighting pit in France

RSPCA

Insp Kirsty Withnall, of the charity’s special operations unit, said treadmills the dogs had been chained to were found in a garden room.

She added that Ali had recorded hours worth of WhatsApp voice notes planning fights and describing the injuries dogs had suffered in previous illegal bouts.

Her colleague Ch Insp Ian Muttitt added: « The mobile phone was a goldmine of information and evidence. It contained graphic videos and images of brutal dog fights [and] match reports following organised fights. »

Evidence gathered from Ali’s phone led to Essex Police raiding a property owned by Billy Leadley, 38, and his wife Amy, 39, in Bambers Green, Takeley.

Officers seized 16 dogs from the address, including a large number of bull breeds thought to have been used for fighting, with Billy Leadley having refereed several bouts.

A match report from a dog fight

RSPCA

Ms Withnall said a dog fighting pit with blood splatters on the wall – measuring 12ft (3.65m) by 8ft (2.43m) – was discovered in the property’s garage.

Forensic tests undertaken on 10 samples from the illegal arena confirmed the blood came from at least five different dogs, the RSPCA said.

A further warrant executed at a home owned by Stephen Brown, 56, in Burrow Road, Chigwell, saw books about dog fighting and a vet kit discovered.

A dog was recovered by Merseyside Police during another raid at an address in Berrywood Drive, Whiston, near Prescot.

‘Loss of blood’

Phillip Ali and Stephen Brown at the dinner table with other people whose faces have been blurred

RSPCA

Match reports of dog fights were also found on Ali’s phone and detailed the brawls in gory detail.

« Bonnie now getting tired; loss of blood and one of her front legs has been broken… possible both and then she starts to lay down and it’s going one way, » one read.

A voice note sent by Ali to Brown had matched two dogs for fights with prize pots of up to £5,000, and another message said a previous fight had lasted 45 minutes.

The front cover of The Dog Repair Book

RSPCA

The RSPCA said it had safeguarded a number of dogs but that some who had been involved in fights had never been found.

Speaking outside of court, Mr Muttitt said: « The information on the phone linked most of the defendants together and we could see that they’d been involved in at least four dog fights. »

Billy Leadley was found guilty of eight offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, while Amy Leadley was convicted of three offences.

Ali was found guilty of nine offences and Brown convicted of five.

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Related Topics

  • Chigwell
  • RSPCA
  • Dogs
  • Takeley

Related Internet Links

  • RSPCA

  • HM Courts & Tribunals Service

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