A Scottish man accused of training dogs to fight has been handed a 15-year ban of owning dogs. The 26-year-old from Dumfries was on August 28th found guilty of causing dogs to fight. He was also ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work.
By, 31 Aug 2019
Liam Patterson was already under suspicion following a BBC investigation of the trade in illegal fighting dogs. The League against Cruel Sports had identified numerous suspects in the area who were involved either in the training or breeding of fighting dogs, some of which belonged to banned breeds. The BBC bolstered the ongoing investigation.
During the trial Patterson admitted to causing two dogs to fight at a location near his home. The League against Cruel Sports provided evidence to the court of a video found at Patterson’s home which showed a dog fight.
Writes the BBC, the Fiscal depute Jennifer McGill told the court, “He (Patterson) could be heard encouraging the dogs to fight.”
The court also heard how investigators from the RSPCA and the League uncovered books about dog fight training and items used in the training of fighting dogs such as a weighted collar.
Patterson also had in his possession two Staffordshire Bull Terriers (Zeus and Gucci) and a Pitbull terrier. Pitbull Bubba was later ordered to be euthanized due to its being a banned breed in the UK.
During its investigation of the activities of an international dog fighting gang, the BBC was able to determine that Patterson had previously made contact with Ivaylo Nikolov, a Bulgarian trader of fighting dogs.
The RSPCA told the BBC, “Over the course of this investigation, it became clear that Patterson had a fascination, verging on obsession, with dog fighting and breeds relating to the American pit bull.”
Patterson’s lawyer told the court his client had since shown remorse for his involvement in the trade and the part he played in local dog fights. The BBC wrote, that he offered his "sincere apologies" for what he had done.