Ter­rier spared af­ter at­tack

Wanneroo Times - - News - Mark Don­ald­son

THE life of a young man’s dog has been spared af­ter the amer­i­can stafford­shire bull ter­rier caused “se­vere” in­juries to a 73-year-old woman in a Si­na­gra at­tack ear­lier this year.

In Joondalup Mag­is­trates Court on Fri­day, Mag­is­trate Michelle Pon­tifex or­dered the ca­nine be de­stroyed but re­mit­ted the pu­n­ish­ment, mean­ing the an­i­mal was given a se­cond chance. It will be put down if it at­tacks again. Ms Pon­tifex fined the dog’s owner Mitchell Seth (26) $3000 over the at­tack, $900 for not se­cur­ing the dog prop­erly and $200 for not reg­is­ter­ing the an­i­mal.

The max­i­mum penalty he faced was $10,000.

Seth’s de­fence lawyer said his client was “ex­tremely re­morse­ful and dev­as­tated” over the in­jury caused to the woman.

City of Wan­neroo pros­e­cu­tor Sam De Vita told the court the dog es­caped from Seth’s home and bit his neigh­bour on the fore­arm as she was walk­ing past about 9.30am on May 28.

“The com­plainant suf­fered se­vere in­juries in the at­tack,” he said.

The in­jury to the woman’s arm re­quired plas­tic surgery at Joondalup Health Cam­pus.

Seth’s de­fence lawyer said his client never imag­ined the staffy would at­tack a per­son. Seth had been dis­tracted at home when the dog es­caped.

He was not aware his pet had at­tacked his neigh­bour un­til the next day. The an­i­mal was un­reg­is­tered be­cause Seth thought it had al­ready been reg­is­tered when an ex­girl­friend gave it to him as a gift.

Ms Pon­tifex made it clear the court did not con­sider Seth a bad per­son.

But she said the “very sig­nif­i­cant con­se­quences” of the at­tack were to­wards the higher end in terms of sever­ity.

“If the dog had been con­trolled… it’s un­likely it would have oc­curred,” she said.

She or­dered mul­ti­ple strict con­di­tions be placed on the an­i­mal, in­clud­ing hav­ing it reg­is­tered as a dan­ger­ous dog and keep­ing it in an en­closed area at the prop­erty at all times.

Seth was or­dered to pay more than $2000 in costs.

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