Father jailed for dog fighting in landmark case

Tim Hatfield

A Hillcrest father has become the first South Australian jailed under new laws to stamp out dog fighting.

A disturbing haul was seized from Benn Hamilton's home - including electric-shock collars, body armour, chains and steroids.

"They were just used as a tool in a sport that's absolutely horrific," an RSPCA spokeperson said.

Benn Hamilton showing off his dog fighting tattoos. Source: 7 News

Mr Hamilton trained his dogs to kill, using treadmills to make them leaner before sending them into battle.

The animals pictured, some bearing horrific scars, were taken from him during a raid in 2016.

A number of dogs were confiscated during a raid in 2016. Source: 7 News
Mr Hamilton used treadmills to make the dogs leaner. Source: 7 News

The dogs were kept individually chained and could not interact with other dogs because they were trained to fight to the death.

In a landmark case, Mr Hamilton was charged with organising lucrative dog fights.

His lawyer asked for him to be shown mercy, but magistrate Kym Millard said jail was the only option.

Mr Hamilton has received a prison term of seven months with a three-month non-parole period. Source: 7 News
Electric shock collars were found in Benn Hamilton's home. Source: 7 News

The 39-year-old was sent to prison for seven months with a non-parole period of three months.

"We hope this is a deterrent for anybody who's considering undertaking fighting with their animals," an RSPCA spokesperson said.

Some of Mr Hamilton's dogs had to be destroyed because they could not be rehabilitated. Source: 7 News

The RSPCA also wants Mr Hamilton to repay the more than $35,000 it spent housing and destroying the dogs which could not be rehabilitated.

Mr Hamilton is already serving five years in jail for unrelated drug crimes.