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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Barrow man ‘did not know dog was illegal,’ court told

A BARROW man who admitted possessing an illegal fighting dog in public claimed not to know the animal was dangerous.

Sean Mills, 38, of Low White Close, Barrow appeared at Furness Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

He pleaded guilty to having custody of a fighting dog and to being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control.

Mills had been walking a pit bull terrier named Kaydee on December 28 when it attacked another dog in Broad Close.

Mrs Lisa Hine, prosecuting, said the owner of the second dog had also been walking her five-day-old daughter in a pram at the time of the attack.

The court heard that Kaydee had been subject to a contingent destruction order, meaning it could be put down if found in public without a muzzle.

Mr Trystan Roberts, defending, said Mills had been looking after Kaydee for a friend and was not aware that the animal was classed as dangerous and did not know about the legal requirement for a muzzle.

He said: “He wasn’t at that stage aware of what kind of dog it was. He is aware that the other dog has been injured and he’s very sorry about that.

“This is a defendant who is not without his difficulties. He suffers from anxiety, depression and a number of mental health problems.

“He suffers from arthritis, cognitive difficulties and a lung problem.”

The court heard that Mills suffered a hand injury while trying to separate the two dogs.

District judge Gerald Chalk said: “If you are in charge of a dog then you must really be in charge of it.

“A dog can be a serious weapon and, as you have seen, they can cause serious injury.

“I have considered disqualifying you from keeping animals but given the circumstances of this offence I do not feel it is appropriate.”

Mr Chalk imposed an eight-week curfew on Mills and ordered him to pay £150 in compensation to cover vet bills and £85 in costs.

A second defendant, Kieron Daly, 24, of Egerton Court was also due to appear charged with having custody of two fighting dogs. His hearing was rescheduled to August 12.

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