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Thursday, 02 October 2014

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Barrow magistrates spare life of dog that bit schoolgirl

A DOG that bit a schoolgirl has been spared a death sentence.

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CHARGE Joseph Shannon, 73, pleaded guilty to allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control, after his Japanese akita, named Kenzo, attacked a girl on March 11

Joseph Shannon, 73, from Harrogate Street, Barrow, pleaded guilty at Furness Magistrates’ Court on Thursday to allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control.

But Shannon said he was “extremely relieved” after magistrates spared his Japanese akita, named Kenzo.

The incident occurred on March 11 when a Barrow schoolgirl was walking past the Co-op in Oxford Street. Kenzo was tied up outside the shop while Shannon was inside.

Miss Victoria Agullo, prosecuting, told the court: “The girl and her mother walked past the dog, which was tied up by the side of the road. The dog lunged and bit the girl on the left side of her back.”

When Shannon emerged from the Co-op he was confronted by the victim’s mother, and walked off in the direction of his home with the dog. The girl was treated for bite wounds and given antibiotics at Furness General Hospital.

The court heard that Shannon had taken in Kenzo several years ago, and she had been mistreated by previous owners. The court heard that after being interviewed by police Shannon admitted he should have muzzled the dog.

He told police: “I’m surprised because she’s gone dead placid now, she’s getting on a bit. I’m so sorry this occurred. I should have used a muzzle; I’ve let her down and everyone else.”

The court heard Shannon had appeared before magistrates in 2009 after Kenzo escaped from his house and attacked another dog, and should have had muzzled.

He told the Evening Mail: “She has been alright with us, she is getting old. I am very sorry but I am relieved.

“She is my companion, it’s just me and the dog and I am over the moon they have not destroyed her. She’s probably only got one or two years left.”

Shannon was ordered to pay £500 compensation and £85 court costs.

A contingency destruction order was placed on Kenzo, meaning she must be muzzled and on a lead at all times in a public place – or face being put down.

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