1. ITV Report

Man jailed after dog fighting 'yard' found in village

A man has been jailed for 24 weeks after pleading guilty to dog fighting and other animal cruelty charges.

Neil Forrest, 44, from Aspenden, Hertfordshire was also ordered to pay £750 in costs and was banned from keeping all animals for life.

In March 2017 one of Forrest's dogs was found by a member of the public cowering in their garden.

Vets discovered she was covered in bite marks and other wounds. From the wounds they thought the dog, nicknamed Kali by staff, had been used in a fight just three or four days earlier.

Kali now Credit: RSPCA

A number of calls had been made to local dog wardens and vets reporting a missing black staffie. These were traced back to Forrest.

The RSPCA and police raided his home and found four more dogs, books and articles on dog fighting, and a treadmill and scales (often used by dog fighters to train their dogs and prepare for a fight).

He initially denied the charges but today (February 15) at Stevenage Magistrates' Court Forrest pleaded guilty to three of four offences.

These included causing unnecessary suffering to a dog, possessing a banned breed and keeping or training a dog for use in connection with an animal fight.

“It’s clear from the evidence that Forrest is obsessed with dog fighting and is involved in keeping, training and fighting his dogs.

“It appears he has tried to run his own dog fighting yard - called Neil’s Yard - but it’s unclear whether he’s had much if any success with that. What is clear is that his dogs have significant injuries consistent with dog fighting and have clearly been caused suffering due to his pastime."

– Inspector Cliff Harrison, RSPCA