A Chippenham woman has been sentenced after her dog bit his third victim in two years.
Wait, what? Three times?
Ann Jefferies, 47, appeared at Swindon Magistrates’ Court having pleaded guilty earlier this year to owning a dog that caused injury whilst dangerously out of control.
The court heard that the defendant, of The Butts, had received a community protection notice in April 2018 after her Patterdale Terrier bit a person. The notice required her to muzzle the dog, named Digby, in public places. Despite that, just six months later in October 2018, Digby managed to bit (sic) another victim.
How? Simple. She didn't muzzle the beast.
As a result, Jefferies was issued a community protection warning – again with the condition to have the pet muzzled whilst out in public places.
Wait, is it me, or...?
Crown prosecutor Keith Ballinger said that on 25 January last year, he struck again – injuring Emily Meehan who was taking part in the Monkton Park parkrun alongside 226 other people, including many children.
Hairdresser Ms Meehan consciously gave the dog a wide birth, but it pulled away and bit her thigh. Screaming and shouting, she tried to prize the dog’s jaw from her flesh with great difficulty.
Again, no muzzle. And not since, either.
Mr Ballinger told the court that the victim says she has since seen the dog without a muzzle, stating in a statement that this made her “extremely angry”, adding that the owner has “clearly not learned [her lesson] from the incident”.
So, is it the needle this time? Or does she have a really, really good excuse?
In an interview with police, Jefferies accepted she knew the dog didn’t like children and was asked to leave a dog training class due to persistent barking.
She also admitted she often forgets the dog’s muzzle and didn’t have it on her at the time of this attack.
That'll be 'No' then...
Clare Gooding, defending, said the client has “taken on board the obvious issues that exist” and there have been no further incidents involving Digby.
She told the court Jefferies suffers from “thinking deficits” and can’t easily find ways around problems. But since the incident, she has been using a harness for better control and calming aromatherapy oil.
These 'thinking deficits' are clearly contagious. And the magistrates have caught them:
Following the recommendation of the probation service, Jefferies was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 10 rehabilitation activity requirement days. She must also abide by a curfew between 8pm and 4am daily – monitored by GPS tag – for three months.
Magistrates decided against the destruction of Digby despite this incident being the third occasion of him injuring members of the public. However, a contingency destruction order was imposed – meaning if Digby is involved in any further incidents, he will be destroyed. Conditions of this order are that Jefferies must keep him muzzled and on a short lead in public.
Conditions that she's shown she won't comply with!
Jefferies must also pay Ms Meehan compensation of £100 along with a victim surcharge of £90. No court costs were imposed.
Why not? Why is this costing the taxpayer money, and not the criminal?
H/T: Lord 'Arry's Dad via Twitter