‘Dr Death’ dog fighting ring that ran cruel matches from blood spattered garage smashed as four found guilty

4 April 2024, 08:35

Four people have been found guilty of helping to run a dog fighting ring
Four people have been found guilty of helping to run a dog fighting ring. Picture: RSPCA

By Asher McShane

Four people have been found guilty or running a cruel and vicious dog fighting ring.

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RSPCA officers raided the home of Phillip Ali, 68, known as Dr Death - where they found dogs chained to treadmills and a text titled The Dog Repair Book.

Several injured dogs were also found, as well as a stick used to break up dog fights and a DIY vet’s kit.

During a raid at another property, they found a blood-spattered fighting ring in the garage,

A full investigation was launched after an RSPCA officer visited Ali’s Chigwell home in August 2021.

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Phillip Ali, left, with Stephen Brown, right, and others after a fight
Phillip Ali, left, with Stephen Brown, right, and others after a fight. Picture: RSPCA

She found harrowing evidence of brutal dog fights. It also emerged that Ali had recorded hours of WhatsApp voice notes planning fights and describing the injuries dogs.

The gang operated across Essex but also hosted fights in the Republic of Ireland and France.

Ch Insp Ian Muttitt said: "The mobile phone was a goldmine of information and evidence. It contained graphic videos and images of brutal dog fights [and] match reports following organised fights."

Police carried out raids at a property owned by Billy Leadley, 38, and his wife Amy, 39, in Bambers Green, Takeley.

Detailed messages and notes about fights were kept by Ali
Detailed messages and notes about fights were kept by Ali. Picture: RSPCA

A total of 16 dogs were seized, including a large number of bull breeds thought to have been used in the fights.

At the property they found the bloodied dog fighting ring in the garage.

Police carried out a further raid at the home of Stephen Brown, 56, in Burrow Road, Chigwell where books about dog fighting and a vet kit were found

Billy Leadley was found guilty of eight offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, while Amy Leadley was convicted of three offences.

Ali was found guilty of nine offences and Brown convicted of five.

The defendants will be sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court on 3 June.

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