Dog that attacked boy is spared after appeal
A ROTTWEILER that attacked a young boy has been reprieved from a death sentence after a successful appeal by the owner.
At a hearing in September Folkestone magistrates had condemned nine-year-old Meggie on the basis she had bitten the six-year-old victim on the head, as well as on his arm.
But a judge and two magistrates decided at the appeal at Maidstone Crown Court there was insufficient evidence to conclude the head injuries were caused by the dog’s teeth.
A ban on owner Philip Biffen keeping dogs for five years was also lifted, but a £1,000 fine, £1,000 compensation to the victim and £1,000 court costs remained.
The boy was bitten in a field near his home in Mersham on May 24 last year.
The dog’s owner, Philip Biffen, admitted failing to keep the pet under control but disputed it bit the child’s head.
Biffen, of Taylor’s Close, St Mary’s Bay, failed to appear before magistrates to give evidence on the matter and only the prosecution case was heard. The victim was playing with his older sister when the dog ran up to them.
Biffen, who ran the Blue and White cafe, told them they could pat the dog on the head.
The boy hid behind his sister, as he was frightened by the dog, but it ran past her and took hold of his arm.
Biffen grabbed the dog and put it on a lead.
Prosecutor Marie-Louise Corteen said the victim told his father he was losing all his blood and was going to die. The boy was supported in his claim the dog bit him on the head by his sister.
Miss Corteen told the court: “The defendant’s behaviour throughout has been quite appalling.
“When arrested, he denied having anything to do with it and said it was not his dog.
“He has shown no concern for the wellbeing of the children.
“We say he has been seeking to delay what we see as the inevitable conclusion that the dog will be destroyed.”