Friday, 17 February 2012

What Is It With The Chattering Classes And Their Dangerous Dogs?

First, we had the mad bitch of Rothbury. Then the beasts of Rettendon. Not to mention Timmy The Loveable (unless you’re a squirrel) Scamp straight from the pages of ‘CiF’.

Now we have this case:
Fuji, a Japanese hunting dog, was on trial for his life after tearing lumps out of a woman's leg.

The 10-year-old akita, was given a second chance by Gloucester magistrates this week after his owner was charged following the attack.
His owner being none other than…
Verity Thornton, the wife of Gloucestershire County Council chairman and former High Sheriff of Gloucester Brian Thornton admitted being the owner of a dog not under proper control. She brought the dog into court so magistrates could see Fuji before making a decision.
I bet they all sat there quite still, making no sudden moves…
Prosecuting solicitor Sharon Jomaa said: "Helen Bromfield and her partner David worked on Mrs Thornton's estate and lived in a cottage in the grounds.

"Helen made a statement saying she was carrying her lurcher dog from her car when Fuji ran towards her aggressively.

"He sank his teeth into her leg, knocking her to the floor.

"She felt Fuji was tearing her leg apart and saw lumps of flesh flying off. She was very frightened and thought that Fuji was going to kill her."
She was damned lucky he didn’t.
Mrs Bromfield, who now lives in Somerset, underwent operations and a skin graft and was in Gloucestershire Royal Hospital for two weeks. She is permanently disfigured.

"She is angry at what happened and has nightmares and flashbacks," she added.

"The victim has said she would hate that to happen to someone else, especially a child, and thinks that Fuji should be destroyed."
I can’t really blame her. I’d want the owners shot too.
But magistrates opted for the more lenient sentence. Fuji must now be muzzled and kept on a lead whenever outside his owners' five-acre garden.
Akitas are powerful dogs – even the elderly and arthritic one that a neighbour used to own, though never seen at more than a walk/amble, was packed with muscle.

These people aren’t young. Should it take it into its head to go nuts, they could do very little about it…
Mrs Thornton said she and her husband were horrified at what happened but said Fuji was not a vicious dog.
The stiches in Mrs Bromfield’s leg say ‘Oh, yes he is…’
A statement read to the court said: "This was an accident waiting to happen as Fuji is a dominant dog which will not tolerate other male dogs on its territory."
That’s all very well. However…he didn’t tear Mrs Bromfield’s dog’s leg to pieces, he tore Mrs Bromfield’s leg to pieces!

And it’s not his territory, unless he’s on the freehold papers. You own the land and you owe a duty of care to employees. That includes taking precautions if you know you have a problem dog.
Speaking after the case, Mr Thornton said: "We are very relieved he's not going to be destroyed. He's a beautifully behaved dog. We often have visits from schools to the deer park where there are up to 50 children and there's never been a problem."

Still, money solves everything, doesn’t it?
Mrs Thornton added: "I am extremely sorry for what has happened to Helen and very much regret that I allowed her partner, David, to keep a male dog on the premises. I advised David I wanted them both compensated for the damage done to them. This is now in the hands of loss adjusters."
A commenter notes that there’s be a rather different outcome should the positions have been reversed:
by MistyBuff

What's the betting the outcome would have been totally different had the Bromfields dog savaged Mrs Thornton?”
Indeed! Though there’s always an idiot magistrate around to reckon with...


Anonymous said...

Oh don't they just love looking after each others interests? So a magistrate sides with "the wife of Gloucestershire County Council chairman and former High Sheriff of Gloucester" - another surprise (NOT!!!!).

One law for us, another for our 'betters'.

JuliaM said...

Indeed. I've got some good examples coming up later...