Five found guilty over Kildare dog fight
14 July 2005
(Updated: 29 July 2005)
Five men have been found guilty of ill-treating two dogs during a bloody dog fight in Co Kildare. ICABS congratulates the ISPCA and the Gardai for helping to secure this outcome.
Details about the court case can be found in the Irish Independent article below.
Dog fighting is illegal in Ireland. ICABS appeals to members of the public with any information about dog fighting activities to please contact the Gardai. The phone numbers of Garda stations all over Ireland can be found at http://www.garda.ie/Stations/Default.aspx. You can also pass on information to ICABS (044-49848) or to the ISPCA (043-25035).
Five men guilty of ill-treating two animals during dog fight
FIVE men have been found guilty of ill-treating two animals during a dog fight, in the first case of its kind in the State.
An all male jury in Naas Circuit Court found the five men guilty and another man not guilty after over two hours deliberation yesterday.
Troy Jordan, Blackthorn Cottage, River Road, Allenwood South, Co Kildare; Richard Somerville, Dunard Drive, Navan Road, Cabra, Dublin; Karl Breen, Nangor Crescent, Clondalkin, Dublin; Thomas Codd, Cloonmore Crescent, Tallaght, Dublin and David Deegan, Maplewood Park, Springfield, Tallaght were all found guilty of the offence on October 31, 2003 at Brockagh, Robertstown, Co Kildare.
Richard Bernard, Dark Road, Castletown, Carlow, was found not guilty.
Earlier yesterday Judge Patrick McCartan directed that three men of the original group of nine accused - Michael Quinn, Slieve Bloom Road, Drimnagh; Joseph Blake, Loreto Avenue, Rathfarnham and James Ferris, Allenwood South, Co Kildare, be released as he was not satisfied there was sufficient evidence to continue in their cases.
The remaining men were charged under the Cruelty to Animals Act 1911 with cruelly ill-treating two animals after an additional charge of assisting in the fighting of the animals was taken from the indictment by Judge McCartan.
All pleaded not guilty at the opening of the trial last week.
Last week, two men charged in addition to the group of nine were found not guilty due to an absence of evidence.
None of the six accused or witnesses for the defence were called.
The trial had previously heard that a team of gardai and inspectors from the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) had raided the Kildaire farm and found two dogs in a bloody embrace in a corrugated steel pen.
The two pit bull terriers had lacerations to the face, ear, head, neck and forelimbs, the court had heard.
When the gardai entered, a number of men were found by the pen while others ran out to nearby fields and some were caught later.
In his concluding statement, Dan Boland BL for the state said the men had been found in an isolated area on a Friday morning beside the dog fight.
Such was the ferocity of the fight between the dogs that a ladder was needed to separate them, said Mr Boland.
There was sufficient evidence to convict the men on a single charge, he said. There were arguments from a number of counsel for the accused men that there was a lack of evidence to convict them on charges to cruelty to animals.
Dean Kelly BL, for Richard Somerville, said there was no evidence of ill-treatment of animals by his client.
All six men said in court earlier this week that they would not contest Garda evidence that they were at the site at the time.
Justin McQuaid, counsel for David Deegan, said there was nothing but "mere presence" to connect his client with ill-treatment while Remy Farrell, counsel for Troy Jordan, said that presence at a dog fight is not a criminal offence.
The court had heard earlier this week that Richard Bernard told Garda Patrick O'Leary that he was at the scene to give Michael Quinn a puppy.
After initially saying that they could not reach a verdict, Judge McCartan sent the jury back for further deliberations, following which they reached a unanimous verdict.
It is the first time that such a case has been heard in the state.
Each of the men faces a maximum fine of €12,270 and/or two years imprisonment.
Judge McCartan excused the jury from service for 10 years. The five convicted men remain on bail until July 28 for sentencing.
Man is jailed over dogfight
A 35-YEAR-OLD man has been jailed for 18 months for cruelty to animals during a dogfight in the first case of its kind in the State.
Another four men were given suspended sentences and fined at Naas circuit court yesterday after being found guilty of cruelly ill-treating two animals in 2003.
Troy Jordan, of Blackthorn Cottage, River Road, Allenwood South, Co Kildare, was jailed by Judge Pat McCartan yesterday. It also emerged that he had previously been convicted of cruelty to six pitbull terriers.
The sentencing was welcomed by the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) who said that the practice "is not acceptable in this day and age".
The trial had heard that a team of gardai and inspectors from the ISPCA had raided a Kildare farm and found two dogs in a bloody clinch in a corrugated steel pen.
The two pitbull terriers had lacerations to the face, ear, head, neck and forelimbs, the court had heard. Such was the ferocity of the fight between the dogs that a ladder was needed to separate them.
Yesterday, Judge McCartan said it was a "mean and nasty offence where the animals were used for a purpose never designed". The five men were charged under the Cruelty to Animals Act 1911 with cruelly ill-treating two animals.
Richard Somerville, Dunard Drive, Navan Road, Cabra, Dublin; Karl Breen, Nangor Crescent, Clondalkin, Dublin; Thomas Codd, Cloonmore Crescent, Tallaght, Dublin; and David Deegan, Maplewood Park, Springfield, Tallaght were all found guilty, in addition to Jordan, of the offence on October 31, 2003 on a farm at Brockagh, Robertstown, Co Kildare.
All had pleaded not guilty to the charges. It is the first time that such a case has been heard in the State.
Each of the men faced a maximum fine of €12,270 and/or two years imprisonment. Judge McCartan said he was "fairly certain" that but for the intervention of the Gardai, one or both of the dogs would have died in the fight.
There was also significant organisation in putting together the event by building the ring that was found and putting down a carpet so the dogs would have a better grip, he said.
The court heard that Jordan had four previous convictions, in one of which he was fined €6,475 for cruelty to six pitbull terrier that were found in neglect at his home. The judge sentenced Jordan to 18 months imprisonment.
Codd received a nine-month suspended sentence on condition that he paid €500 to the ISPCA.
Somerville was ordered to pay €3,000 to the ISPCA and his 18-month sentence would be suspended while Breen received a nine-month sentence on condition that he paid €5,000 to the body. Deegan received an 18-month sentence, which was suspended on condition that he paid €3,000 to the ISPCA.
More Information: RTE News report
Five men convicted over dog-fight