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Teenager sentenced after dog fighting charge

AA 19-year-old Birmingham man has been banned from keeping animals for life after he admitted breeding and supplying dog fighters with pit bull-types, in a case brought by the RSPCA.

Romy Khunti, of Knowle Road, Sparkhill, ran a sophisticated website where he advertised illegal pit bull-type dogs for sale. He was given a four month custodial sentence, suspended for two years, when he appeared at Birmingham Magistrates Court yesterday (15 December). Khunti was also given a two-year supervision order, a 200-hour community punishment order and instructed to pay £5,000 costs after he admitted six charges relating to dog fighting.

The district judge told Khunti he was passing a severe sentence to reflect the commercial aspect of the defendant’s activities.

Hundreds of photographs of the banned breed were discovered on Khunti’s mobile phone and his home computer following an RSPCA investigation in September 2007.

The teenager was also found to been keeping three pit bull-type dogs – banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 – in a sophisticated system of secure cages and kennels in his back yard when RSPCA officers visited his home. The dogs had scars consistent with injuries suffered from fighting.

Chief Inspector Mike Butcher, of the RSPCA’s Special Operations Unit, said: “Romy Khunti was making a profit off the back off the immense suffering these animals would have been put through in order to entertain those who still believe this barbaric ‘sport’ is acceptable.

“The breeding and dealing of pit bull-type dogs to dog fighters will not be tolerated and this sentence demonstrates to those who think they can dodge the law that if caught, they will be punished. This case should act as a serious warning to any young people thinking about getting involved with the sickening pastime of organised animal fighting.”

Khunti pleaded guilty to three charges of possessing illegal pit bulls after the RSPCA discovered dogs called Ruby, Lucy and Rico at his home. He also admitted two charges of training dogs to fight and one of causing unnecessary suffering after he failed to provide veterinary treatment to facial and leg wounds sustained by one of the dogs. All charges were brought by the RSPCA under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

Khunti’s defence said he was only 18-years-old at the time of the incident and this was his first offence.

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