Dogs put down af­ter OAP at­tack

Midweek Visiter - - Rotary Round-Up - BY LYNDA ROUGHLEY vis­iternews@south­portvis­ @Vis­iter

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

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