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Proceeds from Sussex cockfighting will be spent helping animals
Thousands of pounds obtained through illegal cock- fighting in Sussex will be spent helping animals.
Chief Superintendent Barry Fryer from the RSPCA admitted it was “ironic but fitting” the profits from the illegal cockfighting ring would be spent on helping other animals.
He said it would “go towards promoting kindness and preventing cruelty to animals”.
The RSPCA will receive £5,000 and Sussex Police £5,000 in illegally-obtained funds following the conviction of Mark Giles, 49, of Oak Tree Farm, Wisborough Green, and his son, also named Mark, 27, of Lower Gillmans Farm in nearby Billingshurst.
A further £10,000 will go to central Government.
The duo were convicted at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on October 17, 2012, after pleading guilty to keeping birds for use or in connection with cockfights, possession of various items designed or adapted for use in connection with animal fights, causing unnecessary suffering to chickens, and failing to take reasonable steps to ensure their needs were met.
They were both sentenced to 20 weeks imprisonment suspended for two years and ordered to carry out unpaid work.
They also received lifetime bans on the keeping of birds, with no appeal for 12 years.
They were arrested in August 2011 by Sussex Police after an investigation by the RSPCA.
As well as a cockfighting pit, paraphernalia and publications, officers also found £25,800 in bank notes – more than £20,000 of which courts later deemed to be criminal proceeds.
A Sussex Police statement said: “Following a lengthy investigation by the RSPCA, Sussex Police had assisted the RSPCA in making the arrests in August 2011, when the RSPCA executed two warrants at the addresses where both parties were arrested for cockfighting offences and keeping birds for the purpose of cockfighting.
“At Mark junior’s address a cockfighting pit was discovered in addition to a large number of publications relating to cockfighting in addition to other paraphernalia relating to this activity. Forty-nine adult game cocks were also taken into RSPCA custody.”
Detective Inspector Mick Richards of Sussex Police said: “The RSPCA asked us to help look into the source of the money and we were glad to help.
“Our financial investigator Kay Rogers did an excellent job, which satisfied the court that the money was obtained from crime.”
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