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Prison time for evil Grimsby animal cruelty gang

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Prison time for evil Grimsby animal cruelty gang

From League Against Cruel Sports
April 2013

Evidence presented against the men showed that their campaign of animal abuse had been prolific, sustained and well organised. Following a series of warrants in August 2012, all three of the defendants’ homes were raided leading to the discovery of over 10,000 photos of animal abuse and dog fighting equipment, including treadmills and breaker bars. Injured and suffering animals found at the addresses were also seized.

Animal welfare charities, the League Against Cruel Sports and the RSPCA, celebrated an important victory at Grimsby Magistrates Court today after three members of an animal cruelty syndicate were given custodial sentences.

Liam Patrick Ardito, Gary Cannon and Mark Smith, all from Grimsby pleaded guilty after being confronted with evidence showing the individuals committing a string of sickening acts of cruelty to animals.

Smith was sentenced to four months in prison, Ardito and Cannon received four month concurrent prison sentences as they are already serving prison terms for violence. All three men have been disqualified for keeping dogs and birds until further notice.

Based on intelligence initially supplied by the League Against Cruel Sports, all three men were given custodial sentences after they admitted a staggering 30 charges between them, including causing animal fights between dogs on foxes and badgers, keeping premises used for animal fights and causing unnecessary suffering contrary to the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Evidence presented against the men showed that their campaign of animal abuse had been prolific, sustained and well organised. Following a series of warrants in August 2012, all three of the defendants’ homes were raided leading to the discovery of over 10,000 photos of animal abuse and dog fighting equipment, including treadmills and breaker bars. Injured and suffering animals found at the addresses were also seized.

The Magistrate hearing the case today commented that: “all three took sickening pleasure in inflicting cruelty and death.”

Mark Randell, Head of Intelligence at the League Against Cruel Sports, commented: “The League received a tip off from a member of the public through our Wildlife Crimewatch number. When we started our investigations, we were deeply shocked by the severity and extent of the evidence we uncovered. Once we had uncovered sufficient information, we then passed the case to our partners, the RSPCA to consider for prosecution, which thankfully they did.

“Our Wildlife Crimewatch line receives more calls than any other wildlife specific crime reporting number in the country. We obtain thousands of pieces of intelligence each year which is sorted and prioritised to enable us to help convict criminals, such as in this case, and ultimately stop this unnecessary animal cruelty.”

RSPCA Inspector Cliff Harrison said: “This is the most disturbing case I have investigated in my 23 years with the RSPCA. I have spent the last 14 years with our Special Operations Unit and can say that we have never before discovered such a comprehensive collection of images showing the very worst acts on cruelty imposed on wild mammals and to the dogs continually used to fight them.

“This case is nothing to do with legitimate pest control or lawful ‘country pursuits.’ It is about three men who went out to deliberately inflict terror and suffering on wild mammals on a regular basis.

If you would like to report a wildlife crime to us, please call 01483 361 108 in total confidence or visit www.league.org.uk/crimewatch.