Dogs put down after OAP attack
TWO American bulldogs attacked a retired woman and her spaniel in Waterloo after their owner had gone to Alton Towers for the day.
Michael Porter had left his two pets in his front garden with just one bolt on the gate – despite having previously been warned by a dog warden that it was insufficient.
And his actions have now cost his dogs Polly and her son Pablo their lives, with judge ordering their destruction. Porter himself has also been given a suspended prison sentence.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that Margaret Thompson, who is retired, was walking her dog Jess along St John’s Road in Waterloo at 9.30am on April 10 last year when the two bulldogs ran across the road from their home and set on them.
Mrs Thompson flung herself on her pet to protect her and the animal only suffered minor injuries but Mrs Thompson, who was luckily wearing a thick coat, suffered two puncture wounds to her arm.
She was dragged on the ground and suffered heavy bruising to her arms and shoulder, said Zillah Williams, prosecuting.
Thompson, 34, now of Warbreck Road, Orrell Park, denied two offences of possessing dogs which caused injury while dangerously out of control in a public place but was convicted after a trial.
The judge, Recorder David Swinnerton, told Thompson that dog owners have great responsibility.
“In my view you have not been looking after yourself properly and I don’t think you are in a proper position to look after dogs.”
He pointed out that he himself is a dog owner and it gave him “no pleasure” to order the destruction of the dogs, who have been in police kennels since September.
The court heard that the destruction order was mandatory unless it could be shown they did not cause danger to the public.
At the time of the incident Porter had a 15-month suspended sentence hanging over him for drunkenly making racist remarks while on a train home from London – where just hours earlier he had been fined by magistrates for a similar offence.
Recorder Swinnerton said that as he had been making good progress while supervised under the suspended sentence order he would not activate the sentence.
He imposed ten months’ imprisonment for the latest offences but suspended it for 18 months.
He also ordered him to carry out 10 days rehabilitation activities and imposed a three-month curfew with a tag between 8-9pm.
The judge said that Mrs Thompson was badly shaken by the attack and still shaking three days later and needed tranquilliser from her GP.
He said he accepted Porter had a high fence and three bolts on the gate with a warning sign ’beware guard dogs’ which was fine while he was at home but only the top bolt was on when he was out, risking someone calling at the house leaving it off or the dogs knocking it open.
Philip Clemo, defending, said that Porter, who has committed 26 previous offences, has mental health issues but has been responding well to the supervision order from his last offence and completed the alcohol treatment programme despite finding it difficult.
Michael Porter: his dogs were destroyed after – having been left alone for the day – they attacked a retired woman and her spaniel in Waterloo