Who, age What Where When Last Known Address
Barkat Hussain, 44 dogfighting - 3 dogs seized in "Operation Rye" raid

Birmingham, England

December 15, 2008  
Intikab Hussain, 32 possessing dogs for fighting, fighting equipment and breach of probation

Ward End, England

October 3, 2008  
Not disclosed - youth dogfighting-2 dogs died

Alum Rock, Birmingham, England

February 5, 2006  
Barkat Hussain, 43 dogfighting-2 dogs died

Alum Rock, Birmingham, England

February 5, 2006 Smethwick, England
Intikab Hussain, 31 dogfighting-2 dogs died

Alum Rock, Birmingham, England

February 5, 2006 Ward End, England
Ummar Ahmed, 26 dogfighting-2 dogs died

Alum Rock, Birmingham, England

February 5, 2006 Birmingham, England
Sohail Hussain, 28 dogfighting-2 dogs died

Alum Rock, Birmingham, England

February 5, 2006 Saltley, England
Zahir Ahmed, 31 dogfighting-2 dogs died

Alum Rock, Birmingham, England

February 5, 2006 Perry Barr, England
Zahoor Hussain, 40 dogfighting-2 dogs died

Alum Rock, Birmingham, England

February 5, 2006 Ward End, England
Waqqas Mughal, 18 dogfighting-2 dogs died

Alum Rock, Birmingham, England

February 5, 2006 Smethwick, England
Not disclosed = 2 dogfighting-2 dogs died

Alum Rock, Birmingham, England

February 5, 2006  
Not disclosed = 26 spectators dogfighting-2 dogs died

Alum Rock, Birmingham, England

February 5, 2006  
Type of Crime Other Crimes #/Type of animal(s) involved Case Status Next Court Date
    2 dogs Convicted  

Ten men were convicted of involvement in a "sadistic" dogfight described by the RSPCA as one of the largest and most savage bouts it had ever come across.

District Judge Kal Qureshi found five men guilty of attending the fight and five others guilty of the same offence and more serious charges, including causing animals to fight, at the end of a three-week trial at Birmingham magistrates court.

He described the dogfight, which took place in February last year at the back of a kitchen interiors shop in the Alum Rock area of Birmingham, as "a sadistic event ... [that] involved inflicting unimaginable pain without any pity for the animals". The crowd at the fight - 26 spectators in all - was so big that the arresting officers had to flag down a double-decker bus to transport the men to the police station.

The judge issued fines ranging between £750 and £1,400 to the five men found guilty of attending the fight. The other five defendants were remanded on bail for sentence in October, along with two other men who admitted several offences prior to the trial.

Ummar Ahmed, 26, of Birmingham, Zahir Ahmed, 31, of Perry Barr, Barkat Hussain, 42, and Waqqas Mughal, 18, both of Smethwick, Zahoor Hussain, 40, and Intikab Hussain, 31, both of Ward End, and Sohail Hussain, 27, of Saltley, were told they could be jailed. Fourteen other men were fined between £500 and £1,300 early this month after pleading guilty to attending the fight.

Despite its elaborate organisation, the bout was discovered by accident. Police were alerted after a member of the public, who was puzzled by the number of people going into the shop and the shouts and squeals coming out of it, called Crimestoppers.

PC Paul Foster, the first officer on the scene, told the court of hearing yelping and howling followed by waves of cheering from inside. The noises persuaded him to call for back up.

When he and 30 other officers smashed their way into the room they found a small carpeted arena ringed by kitchen cabinets and encircled by cameras set up to record the action. Close by was veterinary equipment, a treadmill and sponges to soak up the blood.

They also found two dogs. One of the animals, a black pitbull terrier named Elvis, staggered weakly towards the police as they approached. The other, a badly mauled brindle pitbull called Bullet, was discovered in a cupboard. Both were treated by RSPCA vets, but their injuries proved too severe. Bullet died within hours while Elvis had to be destroyed two days later.

PC Foster described the sight of the wounded animals as perhaps one of the most distressing things he had seen in his job. Worse, however, was to come when videos of the fight were examined. The films showed the bout had lasted almost two hours, during which time the dogs tore at each other until one had lost most of the fur on its face.

"The video was horrific," one RSPCA officer stated. "It was as graphic and gory as you would expect a dog fight to be. Anyone with any sympathy or empathy for animals would be sickened." He said it was probably the longest documented dogfight, adding that it was a sad measure of the dogs' strength that they had sustained such a ferocious fight for an hour and three quarters.

The RSPCA says the resurgence of dogfighting is a "nationwide problem" involving several hundred people. The society has also noted the emergence of a new kind of dogfighting.

"The old-style dog fighters of the 1970s and 1980s would train their dogs as you would a prizefighter, using treadmills and hanging tyres to prepare them for a fight," said Chief Inspector Mike Butcher of the SOU. "The fights would be in a regulation-sized pit with fixed rules and a referee, and would be stopped when one of the dogs had clearly won ... betting didn't really play a major part in these fights, it was more about the prestige."

Today, the fights have become more commercial and even bloodier, with young men and their tough-looking dogs meeting each other in parks and "rolling" their animals. "The emphasis [now] appears to be more on betting and fighting the dogs to the death," said Mr Butcher.

Although the RSPCA has prosecuted more than 150 people for dogfighting related offences since 2000, it is concerned about the rise and rise of a "sport" that was banned 172 years ago.

"Whichever way it's done, dogfighting is an abhorrent, cruel activity which is barbaric and sickening," said Mr Butcher.

Update 10/18/07:  Six men were jailed today for taking part in the largest organised dogfight uncovered in England since 1867.

A seventh man, a youth at the time of the fight, received a four-month detention and training order.

The seven defendants, between the ages of 18 and 43, were convicted at earlier hearings. The three-week trial last month heard that 26 men were arrested in total at the fight in Alum Rock.

Some of the men who pleaded not guilty claimed they believed the event to be a Blues party, while one said he thought the pit constructed for the fight was a dance floor.

Barkat Hussain, 43, of Smethwick, West Midlands; Intikab Hussain, 31, of Ward End, Birmingham; and Ummar Ahmed, 26, of Birmingham, were each sentenced to six months' imprisonment.

Sohail Hussain, 28, of Saltley, Birmingham; Zahir Ahmed, 31, of Aston, Birmingham; and Zahoor Hussain, 40, of Ward End, were each sentenced to four months.

Waqqas Mughal, 18, also from Smethwick, was given a four-month detention and training sentence. Nineteen other defendants, including 14 who pleaded guilty, were fined between £500 and £1,400 at earlier hearings for attending the event.

The dogfight led to the largest number of arrests since 32 people were held after an event in Southwark, London, when Queen Victoria was on the throne.

Update 10/3/08:  A father who acted as a referee at one of the bloodiest dogfights the RSPCA has ever investigated, has today had his prison sentence extended to 11 months.

Intikab Hussain (1/29/76), of Sladefield Road, Ward End, was sentenced to five months imprisonment by Birmingham Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty to charges of possessing pitbull terriers, possessing dogs for fighting, possessing a treadmill for training dogs and breaching a five year disqualification on possessing dogs.

This sentence is to be served consecutively to his current term of six months’ imprisonment which began last week following a failed appeal. That sentence related to causing unnecessary suffering, assisting at a dogfight, and possessing a pitbull terrier.

Today’s charges relate to offences committed in March this year, just five months after he had been convicted of dogfighting. The five-year disqualification for keeping dogs he received then was also extended to ten years.

The dogfight, which took place in a kitchen showroom in the Alum Rock area of Birmingham on 5 February 2006, left both dogs fatally wounded – one with 103 injuries and the other with 21.

Chief Inspector Ian Briggs, of the RSPCA’s Special Operations Unit, said: “Hussain was a key player at the fight, overseeing the cruelty and making sure the owners stuck to the barbaric rules.

“The fact that he then went out and acquired more dogs following his initial conviction shows the extent of his obsession with dogfighting.  “The court sentencing him to consecutive prison terms underlines the dim view it takes on this abhorrent activity.  “Owning dogs and training them to rip each other apart has no place in our society and the RSPCA will do whatever it can to track down these people and put them before a court.”

Update 6/30/09:  A serial dogfighter, who was involved in one of the biggest dogfighting cases the RSPCA has ever taken, has been sent back to prison and banned for life from keeping dogs.

Barkat Hussain was one of the main organisers of the notorious Alum Rock dogfight in 2006, which resulted in 26 men being successfully prosecuted by the RSPCA. However, just weeks after his release from prison last year, Hussain was found with three pitbull type dogs and equipment used to train dogs in connection with fighting during a raid on a Birmingham barbers.

RSPCA inspectors and officers from West Midlands Police executed warrants at Scissor Edge and the first floor flat above it, on Dudley Road, on 15 December last year as part of Operation Rye.

Hussain, of Unett Street, Smethwick, was jailed for four months and given a life ban on keeping dogs when he appeared before a district judge at Birmingham Magistrates Court.

Chief Inspector Ian Briggs, from the RSPCA’s special operations unit, said: “Dogfighting is an obsession for Barkat Hussain. Despite being sent to prison and banned from keeping dogs after the Alum Rock case, within weeks of his release he was back in the thick of Birmingham’s dogfighting activity.

“Some people still think it is acceptable to train dogs and fight them for their own gratification, but it is one of the most extreme and persistent forms of animal cruelty the RSPCA investigates. As long as there are people like Barkat Hussain who continue to follow this barbaric practice, we will continue to track them down and prosecute them.”

The 44-year-old (D.O.B 10.10.64) admitted three charges of possession of dogs banned under Section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act. He had admitted one charge of possession of items adapted for use in connection with animal fighting and another charge of keeping or training animals for use in connection with animal fighting, contrary to the Animal Welfare Act.

Hussain also admitted breaching a five-year ban on keeping dogs that he received as part of his sentence for the Alum Rock fight.

His latest prosecution follows intelligence gained as part of the RSPCA’s proactive investigation into dogfighting in Birmingham. The inspectors that carried out the raid last December found the three dogs, as well as equipment used to train dogs for fighting, including a treadmill and a breaking stick. A home veterinary kit was also seized, including a half-empty bottle of the drug Euthatol, which is used to euthanase dogs.

The RSPCA inspectors found Hussain in the first floor flat where the three dogs were also discovered. One of the animals was chained to a banister, while two more were kept in small cages in a separate room. One of the dogs had 59 old scars to its head, consistent with injuries suffered from fighting.

Hussain was arrested by police officers at the scene and taken away for interview. When questioned he claimed the equipment was left over from his previous offences and he was no longer involved in dogfighting. However, on inspection his mobile phone was discovered to contain video footage of a dogfight and photographs of pitbull terrier type dogs.


The Guardian

The Guardian Dog Magazine