‘Vi­cious’ dog la­bel de­nied

North Coast Weekender - - News - Mark Don­ald­son

A MAN who was con­victed in court as the owner of a dog that at­tacked two peo­ple re­mains firm in his be­lief that his for­mer pet was unfairly por­trayed as vi­cious.

An­to­nio Cicchino faced Joon­dalup Mag­is­trates Court in May over a dog at­tack caus­ing phys­i­cal in­jury re­lat­ing to his kelpie cross bull arab Al­bert, aged lit­tle more than a year old.

Mr Cicchino was fined $6000 and or­dered to pay court costs of more than $10,500.

He had ini­tially pleaded not guilty but said he re­luc­tantly pleaded guilty on the day of his trial on the ad­vice of his lawyer.

City of Wan­neroo pros­e­cu­tor Sam De Vita told Mag­is­trate Edward de Vries that the dog at­tacked a tow truck driver in the yard of Mr Cicchino’s Wan­gara busi­ness and then a woman who was walk­ing past the yard on Fe­bru­ary 21 last year.

He said the woman was treated in hospi­tal af­ter the dog “shook her arm vi­o­lently”. Both vic­tims de­clined to com­ment af­ter the court hear­ing.

Mr Cicchino dis­agreed with the pros­e­cu­tor’s ver­sion of events, claim­ing the tow truck driver had let him­self in the yard when he was told to wait out­side.

He did not con­sider it ac­cu­rate to say the dog shook the woman’s arm vi­o­lently, as “it wasn’t a vi­cious at­tack at all”.

He said he was not try­ing to be “blase” about it.

“I wrapped the guy’s hand up, I wrapped the lady’s arm up, I called the am­bu­lance… it wasn’t me try­ing to shy away from it,” he said.

In court, Mr de Vries told Mr Cicchino he was in “to­tal denial” if he thought Al­bert was a friendly dog.

Mr Cicchino con­sid­ered it an un­fair re­mark and was adamant his pet was not vi­cious.`

“He was my dog I had with my kids… he was a friendly dog, I wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t the case. I did not get a chance to give my story,” he said.

Mr Cicchino opted to have Al­bert put down af­ter the an­i­mal bit the an­kle of a 16-year-old boy who was rid­ing a bike in Craigie in what Mr Cicchino con­sid­ered a mi­nor in­ci­dent that did not go be­fore the courts.

He said he spoke to the teenager that day and he “was all cool with it” but his mother took it fur­ther.

“That’s why I said to the (Joon­dalup) coun­cil ‘I don’t want to have any more trou­ble with any­thing, the best thing to do is to put him down’,” he said.

“He is missed and al­ways re­mem­bered as his ashes sit on my bed­side.”

Al­bert has been put down.

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