A pair of cockfighters who posted barbaric footage of blood-soaked birds fighting have admitted animal welfare charges in court.

Bill Ripley, 45, and 61-year-old Moses Brinkley, both of Claywood Lane, Bean, uploaded graphic videos on social media.

The pair appeared at Bexleyheath Magistrates’ Court charged with offences under the Animal Welfare Act.

They both pleaded guilty to being present at an animal fight, keeping a premises for use in an animal fight and keeping animals for use in fighting.

The RSPCA launched an investigation into the men after footage was spotted on Facebook by an account in the name of ‘Shamo Bill’, believed to be Ripley.

The material suggested he was breeding, keeping, selling and fighting cockerels.

RSPCA inspector Carroll Lamport, who led the investigation, said: “We joined police officers as they executed warrants at three plots on a travellers’ site in Bean, where we were able to identify some of the ‘venues’ shown online in the fighting videos.

“We downloaded a lot of evidence from Facebook while other videos were also found on mobile phones seized from the men during the warrants.

"The videos - some posted by ‘Shamo Bill’ online - show a number of different cockfights taking place at different venues including a makeshift pit next to a caravan. The men are clearly bragging about their pastime and their birds.

“In the videos you can hear voices saying 'The Ripley way' and 'Let me show you my little brother'.

“Other videos appear to show training techniques with cockerels being encouraged to attack dummy birds.”

Police searched the premises in March last year and found 242 cockerels, and one hen with a nasty neck injury.

Phones seized were found to have messages discussing breeding and fighting cockerels.


Inspector Lamport said: "The birds are seen sparring, flapping aggressively at each other and pecking at their opponent.

“They pull out mouthfuls of feathers and peck with their sharp beaks around the other bird’s eyes.

“It’s extremely brutal and barbaric watching. The birds are both panting, obviously exhausted, while the white-coloured cockerel is soaked in blood and the red bird repeatedly collapses following the intense and prolonged fight.

“Eight minutes and 30 seconds in, when one of the birds collapses, the man recording the video intervenes to part the birds so they can launch into the fight once again. He can be heard encouraging the bird to kill the other, saying: ‘You gotta do the job proper Mosquito, don’t leave him’.

“The red-coloured bird is then dragged out of the shot leaving the white cockerel as the winner as you hear multiple other birds crowing in the background.”

It’s not clear what happened to these birds following the fight and whether either of them succumbed to their injuries.

Both men are due back at the same court for sentencing on March 19.