Search

Norwich Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 9°C

VIDEO: Horror of Norwich man's cruel cock fighting

Trevor Hall at Norwich Magistrates Court.

Trevor Hall at Norwich Magistrates Court.

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2011

The RSPCA has revealed video footage of a cock fight set up by Norwich man Trevor Hall.

A Norwich man set up a cock fighting training farm at his parents’ home and ran cruel and illegal fights for nearly three years.

A court was yesterday shown a six-minute video filmed by Trevor Hall showing cock fighting at his parents’ farm in Horsham St Faith.

Hall, 45, had previously admitted five charges of holding cock fights, keeping and training cocks to fight, keeping premises for cock fights, taking part in cock fights, and being present at a cock fight. But he claimed that he was forced into holding the cock fights by Travellers 
who had threatened the safety of his girlfriend and parents. This claim was the subject of a trial yesterday at Norwich Magistrates’ Court. The trial heard that Hall had a collection of cock fighting books including ‘The art of training fighting cocks’, DVDs and videos including ‘Chicken Fights 3’, and had filmed his cockerels fighting. He was finally caught when the RSPCA and police jointly carried out raids at his parents’ home, and at his girlfriend‘s home in Vale Green, Mile Cross, where he lived. Hall was given an 18-week suspended sentence, a curfew for five months to live at the address in Vale Green between 8pm and 7am daily. He must also pay £250 towards costs.

RSPCA Inspector Ben Kirby, who gave evidence at the trial, said: “That is a superb sentence and I think it’s appropriate and proportionate to the offence.

“Cock fighting is a notoriously difficult offence to investigate because of its underground nature.

“It exists in certain elements of society but is not compatible with modern legislation. The RSPCA is becoming more pro-active in fighting this offence, and we will prosecute whenever we get the opportunity.”

Hall, though his solicitor Simon Nicholls, had put forward the defence that he was been forced to hold the cockfighting events by Travellers.

Indeed, one person came and sat down at the back of the court during the trial, and the court was later told that this person had threatened Hall and followed him into the toilets.

But chairman of the bench, Bob Price said he did not believe Hall could use the defence of acting under duress, because he said he always had the option of reporting it to the police or RSPCA, or he could just have got rid of his birds.

Jonathan Eales, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said: “On August 18 last year police and RSPCA carried out simultaneous raids at the parents’ farm where they seized 10 cocks suspected of being involved in cockfighting.

“Simultaneously a warrant was carried out at Vale Green, where a number of video tapes and books relating to cockfighting were seized.

“This included two VHS tapes containing 300 minutes of multiple cockfighting images, some with metal spurs on their legs to cause more injury. At least one fight was to the death.

“Two camcorders and a laptop were also seized, also containing footage of cockfighting, and some cockfighting magazines and five cockfighting books.”

Hall was arrested and admitted in police interview to be the owner of 89 birds at his parent’s home, including the 10 seized. He also admitted he was the owner of the items seized at his girlfriend’s premises.

Mr Eales said that Hall, a former haulier, claimed in interview that he had always been interested in cocks, their breeding and the different types.

He obtained a bird and started breeding in 2004/5, when one of his birds was bought by a Traveller. He maintained that Travellers thereafter regularly visited and he was left intimidated, Mr Eales said.

Hall said they forced him to allow the birds to fight, and admitted to filming two birds sparring at the farm on two occasions, while no one else was present.

He also admitted preparing videos of the birds fighting for Travellers.

Giving evidence, Hall said he did not want to get rid of his birds because he loved them.

He said the Travellers would turn up for cockfights in groups of about four, but they were never seen in the videos. He said he was never paid for holding the fights.

“The birds were my hobby. I was trying to recreate some of the old colours that have been lost, hence the books I had. I am interested in the social history of cock fighting,” he said.

He denied training any birds to fight and said he only allowed two of his birds to spar because he wanted to keep the stronger back for breeding.

Mr Nicholls said all the factual evidence presented in court was unchallenged, but said that Hall had received several smacks in the mouth from Travellers.

He said: “The level of threats was serious. They are talking about burning houses down and causing serious injury to Mr Hall, his girlfriend and his parents. These are serious threats. They are – ‘Either do this or else’.”

The court also heard that Hall had been given in March a suspended jail sentence at Norwich Crown Court for supplying drugs, and was already on a 6-month curfew.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Norwich Evening News

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists