South East Wales

Kerry Evans convicted over Pit Bull Terrier 'dog fighting'

One of the Pit Bull Terrier type dogs seized by the RSPCA Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption Pit Bull Terriers are a banned breed in the UK under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991

A Merthyr Tydfil man has been given a suspended jail term after he was convicted of keeping Pit Bull Terriers for "dog fighting".

Kerry Evans, 25, was found guilty by magistrates last month of six charges of keeping or training Pit Bull Terrier-type dogs and six charges of having possession or custody of them.

He was given a six month suspended sentence at Newport Magistrates' Court.

Pit Bull Terriers are a banned in the UK under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

Evans was also banned from keeping dogs for eight years.

He was arrested after the RSPCA discovered five of the dogs in a kennel near his home and a sixth was later found at his house.

Prosecutor Aled Watkins said: "Evans was involved in organised dog fighting and kept six Pit Bull Terriers to be used in this barbaric crime.

"The aggravating features in this case are the numbers of fighting dogs he kept.

"Quite frighteningly, one dog had been bred from and her puppies were offered for sale over the internet.

"The day after Evans' trial finished we heard the sad news involving the death of a child cause by a banned Pit Bull.

"It is a frightening feature of this case."

All six dogs were ordered to be destroyed by the RSPCA with dog fighting equipment and graphic books showing dog fighting.

'Extremely unhealthy'

South Wales Police raided Evans' home and seized first aid kits containing syringes and antibiotics allegedly used to treat dogs after fights.

Officers also uncovered "break sticks" used to open dogs' jaws.

District judge John Charles told Evans: "You have an extremely unhealthy interest in Pit Bull fighting.

"There is evidence of injury to the dogs and there is a potential of more serious harm as you bred from one of the dogs and offered the puppies for sale."

Evans was also convicted of four charges of having equipment for use in connection with an animal fight.

Clive Rees, defending, pleaded for Evans' liberty because he is due to become a father on Thursday.

'Very organised'

He was also ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work and fined £1,000.

RSPCA chief inspector Michael Butcher told the court how organised dog fighting was thriving in underground leagues across the country.

"It's quite a small fraternity with almost exclusively Pit Bull type dogs used, being bred for the purpose," he said.

"They will meet any dog in a pit face-to-face and go through the pain barrier.

"The dogs will be trained - it is very organised."

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