Thursday, 17 November 2011

Dangerous Dog, Or Dangerous Childminder?

A horrific dog attack has left a two-year-old Gloucester toddler "scarred for life".

Now his devastated family are calling for the mongrel, an Alsatian cross, to be put down before it attacks anyone else.
His ‘devastated family’ weren’t actually present at the attack, nor do they own the dog, nor is it a typical ‘Staffie owned by friend of the family’ attack.

Which makes a nice change…
Jack's mum, Aimee Hicks, 21, works part-time as a support worker and leaves her son with a minder.

The single mum, of Minstrel Way, said: "I had a phone call from the child minder to say 'I'm so sorry, we're in A&E. Jack's been attacked by a dog. You have to come up'.
The minder was being a little economical with the actualité, there. It wasn’t just a dog, it was her aunt’s dog.
Earlier that morning, his minder, Laura Tonks, 23, of Longlevens, who is registered with Ofsted, took Jack to her auntie's house.

That is where he was mauled, after he grabbed the dog by the tail in the kitchen.
Well, that puts rather a different complexion on things, doesn’t it?

Oh:
Jack's grandad Phil Hicks, 44, said: "We want the dog put down before it attacks anyone else, it's obviously dangerous. We want people to know what happened to us – Jack's devastated."
What happened to you was you hired a child minder who breached OFSTED rules. That’s not the fault of the dog.
Gloucestershire police have been asked to get involved, but said they cannot pursue it further because the incident happened on private land.

But Miss Tonks will be interviewed by Ofsted this week, which has powers to revoke her registered child minder status.
One to watch…

19 comments:

SteveW said...

That's the second time I've seen this 'police say they can't get involved because the incident happened on private property' being rolled out.

Are dog attacks treated as civil rather than criminal cases or does that mean I can kick seven bells out of someone with no police involvement, as long as I'm on private property?

Seems like a largely unsubstantiated cop out (no pun intended).

Antisthenes said...

I am a bit confused by this private land thing. Does it mean that if I murder someone on private land I can get away with it. I know I cannot so what is the difference?

Antisthenes said...

I am a bit confused by this private land thing. Does it mean that if I murder someone on private land I can get away with it. I know I cannot so what is the difference?

James Higham said...

Can a dog breach OFSTED rules?

Anonymous said...

To assist SteveW and Antisthenes Section 3, Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (Keeping dogs under proper control) only applies to public places or non public places where the dog is not permitted to be which clearly does not apply to it's owners house.
The various Acts relating to assaults by persons on other persons have no such restrictions on location.
Blame the legislators, not the Police.

Anonymous said...

No-blame the police,it's much easier.
Melvin and his chums have made it their lifes work.
Jaded

Antisthenes said...

@ anonymous

Thanks for that. Dog attacks often have serious consequences for the attacked should not owners be held more to account and be treated under the same law that covers GBH say. I see one problem though the attack here was brought on by provocation by grabbing the tail and you could say it acted instinctively in self defence. Normally for people that would not be much of a defence although the buffoon Prezza got away with it. For a dog though as it does not have reasoning powers that poses a conundrum.

Anonymous said...

Why do all these "dog eats toddler" stories read the same. Stupid people who should have neither children or dogs.

Captain Haddock said...

To me, the matter is relatively simple ..

Did the child minder have the express permission of the mother to expose her child to a dog, any dog ?

In a public place, one has the right to expect that a dog will be under control, so, in the event of an attack, there are grounds to question culpability ..

But to deliberately take the child onto private premises, which happen to be the dog's "territory", where no such permission existed at the relevant time, surely amounts to a clear breach of her contract ?

If that proves to be the case, then the child minder should be prosecuted for "child endangerment" (yes, I know that's an Americanism, for which I apologise .. but I'm unaware of the wording for an equivalent British offence) ..

Anonymous said...

Jaded - it is vexing to read and understand 'contributions' which amount to stalking and baiting a regular commenter. Grow up, twerp.

Anonymous said...

That's Mr or PC Twerp to you.
Jaded

SteveW said...

@ Anonymous 17:27

Many thanks for that, not quite the assumption I was working on, but that makes sense - the outcome/report, not the badly drafted legislation.
Much appreciated.

JuliaM said...

"That's the second time I've seen this 'police say they can't get involved because the incident happened on private property' being rolled out."

Well, anon ha already enlightened you, but given the police have acted in several high-profile cases on private property, there must be other legislation that applies?

"I see one problem though the attack here was brought on by provocation by grabbing the tail..."

Quite. So, not entirely the fault of the animal.

"Why do all these "dog eats toddler" stories read the same. Stupid people who should have neither children or dogs."

Spot on!

MTG said...

O/T - for Editorial attention:

Home Office survey of 50,000 citizens reveals a mere 14% confirmed the sight of police officers on our streets, on a daily basis.

(I hadn't realised it was that high.)

Anonymous said...

Melvin-it is vexing to read and understand "contributions" which amount to stalking and baiting a regular commenter.
Do the 50,000 sit at the window all day in the forlorn hope of seeing me walk past?Perhaps they need to get out more.
If they pop into my canteen between 1pm and 2pm they will see me and 100's of my colleagues.
In a different survey 0% of the population have seen MTG write a comment that they can understand.
Jaded.

Anonymous said...

@Julia.

The two links to previous posts refer to action taken by Police in cases under different sections of the Dangerous Dogs Act. In one case breach of a control order (presumably made by Magistrates under S2 Dogs Act 1871 following an earlier offence under S3(1) DDA 1991 and the other relates to an offence under S1 or S2 DDA 1991. In neither case the location - public or private - has any relevance to the action taken.

Tis all here - http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1991/65/contents

In the words of a QC who replied to a Judge who challenged his explanation of some obscure point of law saying 'Thank you, Mr X, but I'm none the wiser' with 'No, My Lord, but you are better informed'.

I'll go away now..........

Rob Fisher said...

Not sure about this "not the fault of the animal" idea. Dogs don't maul children who pull their tails, as a rule. This dog seems unstable.

JuliaM said...

"(I hadn't realised it was that high.)"

Perhaps if they didn't have to fill in so much paperwork...?

"In the words of a QC who replied to a Judge who challenged his explanation of some obscure point of law saying 'Thank you, Mr X, but I'm none the wiser' with 'No, My Lord, but you are better informed'."

:D

"Not sure about this "not the fault of the animal" idea. Dogs don't maul children who pull their tails, as a rule."

Depends on how many times he did it, I suppose.

Chalcedon said...

The dog was just being a dog. He was attacked on his territory by a child who was obviously not being supervised by the minder. The minder should be prosecuted. the dog is innocent.