In common with decent people everywhere, I was utterly and completely appalled by The Argus story of the cockfighting trial involving father and son Mark Giles senior and junior (October 15).

To deliberately pit animals against each other in the name of sport, in order to gratify a bloodlust and make money, is obscene in the extreme.

But I was appalled on so many other levels.

Firstly, district judge Peter Crabtree should have given both men a custodial sentence, but fudged the issue by suspending such sentences.

Both should now be behind bars – and for much longer than the suspended 20 weeks.

The judge described their activities as “abhorrent”, so in those circumstances how can a long stretch in prison not be justified?

Secondly, the two men were banned for life from keeping birds: why not all animals, rather than leaving them free to breed animals for other blood sports.

Thirdly, the Giles defence solicitor Colin Witcher said their primary aim “was never to harm the birds”. Then why on earth would the men have kept veterinary equipment to “sew the birds up”?

Having been so involved and having the paraphernalia in their possession, are we to believe these two just expected the birds’ feathers to be a bit ruffled? Don’t treat us like idiots.

Thank you to the RSPCA for their bravery and dedication in gathering the evidence to bring this case to court, but unfortunately their efforts haven’t been satisfactorily rewarded.

This is yet another example of a judgement being too weak.

David Gibbons, Hillcrest Road, Newhaven