Ben Williams, of Cherrydown Road, Sidcup, was fined just £36 for owning a pit bull terrier and, incredibly, the beast was handed back to him following the brief hearing.I…
It wasn’t just the illegal dog, either:
Bexley Magistrates’ Court heard police found drugs and five dogs during a drugs raid on April 27 at the house where Williams lives with his parents.A house, I suspect, in a neighbourhood very far away from those magistrates. So they won’t need to worry. Which is nice for them.
Williams, who volunteers at a construction site (Ed: whuh..?!?), was described as a "dog lover" by his solicitor Surinder Gohlan who urged the magistrates not to ban his client from owning dogs or to destroy Lady Cash.
Mr Gohlan said: "When he purchased the dog, he purchased it in good faith that it was not a pit bull.
"There is nothing in this case which demonstrates the dog is dangerous."Apart from its status as an illegal dog, of course. Now, I’m not in favour of BSL, but in this case, and in the hands of this person, I’d happily agree that this isn’t a suitable owner.
But the law does allow that a pitbull can be kept so long as the owner complies with the requirements laid down to keep others safe.
Requirements that these magistrates suggest. Not order, suggest…
Passing sentence, chairman of the magistrates Angela Hamill said: "We have taken into account that the dog has not been a problem so far but we recommend you ought to keep it on a lead and muzzle it as a minimum when you go out."And the little matter of the illegal drugs?
Williams was also fined £73 for possession of class B drug cannabis and £110 for possession of cocaine on Thursday (July 12). He was also ordered to pay £85 prosecution costs and a £15 victim surcharge.Handily, the newspaper lists some other fines for comparison:
Three books six weeks overdue from a Bexley library (at 30p) a day - £37.80
Driving at 34mph in a 30mph zone - £60.
Selling alcohol to a drunk person - £80 (£50 if paid within seven days).
Littering - £80 (£50).
Breaching a fireworks’ curfew - £80 (£50).
Not buying a train, tube or bus ticket - £80 (TfL penalty fare. £40 if paid within 21 days.)It seems in Bexley, the magistrates run scared of bloggers, but are blasé about four-legged lethal weapons…