Uk: Dog Fighting Gang Convicted – All Due to Undercover Investigation by Former SAS Soldier





**  This post is dedicated to Steve ‘Ibbo’ Ibinson for the superb undercover work which did at great personal risk – a man who unfortunately never lived to see the final result of all his investigative work on this case.

 Thanks ‘Ibbo’ on behalf of all the animals you have saved. **

Please read on for the full story.


Please refer to our post of 14th September:

Well now there is a fantastic result to this story.  We are reprinting the full articles from the Uk newspaper ‘The Times’; which provides full details of the case and the ex SAS soldier Steve ‘Ibbo’ Ibinson, who went undercover to obtain all the evidence for this case.

From ‘The Times’

September 16, 2009

Woman convicted of hosting pitbull fights in Lincolnshire cottage

A woman at the centre of one of Europe’s largest dog-fighting gangs was convicted yesterday of using her cottage to hold fights where animals often died from their injuries.

Claire Parker, 44, a mother of three, had a pit dug in her garage where illegal dogs fought for up to an hour, as bets of hundreds of pounds were placed on which would emerge alive.

Only now can it be revealed that the woman was married to John Parker — a convicted drug dealer who died in prison this year.

John Parker bred and trained fighting dogs, and used them to guard a large store of marijuana hidden in their kennels. He died of a heart attack in April, but before that was a ringleader of the dog-fighting gang.

The couple used their home in the village of Kexby, Lincolnshire, to host illegal American pitbull fights. They provided sandwiches and beer for dog fighters who travelled across the country for the fights.

One animal was so badly injured that a former special forces soldier who infiltrated the gang said that it looked like a shotgun had been fired in its face. The dog later died.

After a two-week trial, Claire Parker was convicted of holding and being present at a fight in May 2007, and possessing three pitbulls, a breed that is banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

Mohammed Farooq, 33, from Bordesley Green, Birmingham, was found guilty of causing two dogs unnecessary suffering, and possessing training equipment for dog-fighting.

A male aged 17 from another Birmingham address was also convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to dogs. They both admitted possessing three illegal pitbulls.

Those convicted were among a gang of eight, including Gary Adamson, 38, who boasted of wanting to be the “Don King” of the dog-fighting world — a reference to the American boxing promoter. Adamson had dog-fighting links across Europe and to Northern Ireland paramilitaries.

The convictions, at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court, were part of a £250,000 RSPCA investigation after an undercover operation by Steve Ibinson — a former SAS soldier — whose work was featured in a BBC Panorama programme.

The trial was told how members of the gang attended “conventions” in Finland where severely injured animals had crocodile clips fastened to their tails and ears before being connected to the mains and electrocuted.

A goal for many involved was to train a “respected stud” that could make thousands of pounds for owners in breeding other fighting dogs.

In a number of raids, RSPCA officers seized weighing scales and “break sticks” — for parting the animals once their jaws had locked on to each other. They also seized veterinary products.

Five people, including Adamson, had earlier admitted a series of dog-fighting offences in breach of the Dangerous Dogs Act and Animal Welfare Act. The gang will be sentenced next week, and face up to six months in prison, and fines of up to £20,000 each.

Chief Inspector Ian Briggs, of the RSPCA’s special operations unit, said: “Dog fighting is a barbaric and cruel so-called sport which belongs in the Dark Ages.”


*** How Steve Ibinson went undercover to bring dog-fighting gang to justice

To Britain’s most ruthless dog-fighting syndicate, Steve Ibinson was the perfect recruit. His hefty build and knowledge of dogs helped him to back up his claim that he, too, revelled in the cruelty of seeing animals fight to the death.

For more than a year “Ibbo”, as he was known during his earlier service with the Special Forces, lived among dog-fighting gangs, including Northern Ireland’s feared Farmers Boys and the English group convicted yesterday.

He secretly recorded hours of footage of the gang members forcing dogs to fight and watching injured animals being electrocuted, and he exposed how illegal American pitbulls are being smuggled into Britain.

As an undercover reporter he had infiltrated neo-Nazis, tracked down murderers, targeted paedophiles and even investigated a cruel puppy farm.

His real passion, though, was bringing to justice those who took pleasure in watching two animals tear each other apart. Yesterday’s convictions were the culmination of a lengthy investigation that resulted in him receiving numerous death threats, but the father of three died before he ever saw justice done.

This year, while he was infiltrating an opium ring in Afghanistan, he suffered a heart attack and died.

Chief Inspector Ian Briggs, from the RSPCA’s special operations unit, said: “It’s a real tragedy that he wasn’t here to see it. Without his bravery and tenacity we wouldn’t have got these convictions.”

Born in Newton Aycliffe, Co Durham, Mr Ibinson was one of four children of Sandra and Stephen, two former town councillors who encouraged his strong sense of right and wrong.

Much of his work was carried out in Northern Ireland, where he worked with newspapers and television documentary-makers as an undercover reporter.

While many undercover reporters eventually like to reap the glory that their work can bring, he refused to compromise his anonymity. Even when he won a Bafta for his work for the BBC Panorama programme that uncovered the Farmers Boys in Tandragee, Co Armagh, he remained adamant that he was simply pleased to shut down a gang of dog fighters.