A father-of-three who showed an ‘arrogant disregard’ for the safety of his neighbours was yesterday jailed for 10 years after his dangerous dog mauled one of them to death.What did the authorities do? Well, it seems they did....nothing.
Aaron Joseph, 30, ignored a court order to impose controls on his bull terrier type dog Alex, who had mauled four people in a communal garden outside his flat in separate incidents.Nor could it be said they imposed them just a few days before the final attack, either!
Joseph, a courier and semi-professional footballer, had a Dog Control Order imposed on him by magistrates four years earlier which meant Alex should have been neutered, micro-chipped, muzzled in public and insured.Yes, four years. I know public sector workers need to be timed with a sundial rather than a stopwatch in time and motion studies, but even so, that must be some sort of record...
Yet he did nothing and the council dog warden only ordered him to abide by the court order five days before the fatal attack.That man should have been in the dock too. As should the police.
Police were also investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct because officers seized Alex due to concerns she was a banned pit bull terrier only to return her to Joseph seven days before Mr Ellam was killed.That was their primary concern, it seems. Not an assessment of the danger it posed. Just whether it came under the narrow description of a 'pitbull'.
Yet the new legislative powers to deal with dangerous dogs regardless of breed that they and other public sector leeches had whined that they needed to do their jobs properly had already come into effect.
Joseph has nine previous convictions for offences including cannabis possession, supply of heroin and possession of an offensive weapon.The offensive weapon charge presumably not being related to the dog. Yet one glance at it (and at how it was kept, and the type of person who owned it) would have told anyone that that's exactly what it was.
In her evidence the victim’s devastated partner Claire Josling was asked about the actions of the authorities. She said Mr Ellam ‘didn’t feel they had done enough.’They didn't actually do anything, did they? Oh, sure, they imposed conditions, but they then did the square root of f*** all to ensure that they were complied with, so they may as well have done absolutely nothing.
The judge said Joseph would serve half his 10 year term in custody and also banned him from having custody of a dog for life.Which he'll obey. Of course. Just like he did the others.
So, why was the owner the only one in the dock? He shouldn't have been, should he?