Tunstall: Man cleared over dangerous dog charges
10:55 17 April 2014
A man whose dog bit a cyclist in a Suffolk forest has been cleared of being the owner of a dog that was dangerously out of control.
Andrew Davey claimed that his Weimaraner bit cyclist Neal Watson after being hit by his cycle which he claimed was “going at speed” along a bike trial in Tunstall Forest, near Woodbridge.
He said that after being struck by the bike he heard his dog yelp before it bit Mr Watson’s leg.
Davey, 44, of Dallinghoo Road, Wickham Market, denied being the owner of a dangerously out of control dog on September 1 last year and was cleared by a jury.
During his trial at Ipswich Crown Court Davey brought the dog into court and walked it in front of the jury .
The court heard that Mr Watson and his friend James Gray were a few minutes into their bike ride when Davey’s dog ran over and bit Mr Watson on the leg causing two puncture wounds.
Following the incident Mr Watson and Mr Gray asked Davey for his name and contact details and were allegedly told his name was Andy Davies and were given a wrong telephone number.
Mr Gray had eventually traced Davey through Facebook and the police were contacted.
Mr Watson told the court that he and Mr Gray had been riding along a bike trail when he saw a dog running around ahead of him without a collar or lead.
He slowed down to a walking pace and veered off the bike trail to give it a wide berth.
He said the dog had then run over and bit him on the leg before running back to its owner.
He said he didn’t see a collar or lead on either of the two dogs with Davey and denied that his bike had clipped the dog.
Davey told the court he had the eight-year-old dog since it was eight-months-old and had taken it to a training school.
He said his pet had never shown any aggressive behaviour to people or animals and was well used to seeing cyclists and horses during walks in Tunstall Forest.
He said on the day in question he had been in the forest with his two children and two dogs and had called out to the Weimaraner after catching a glimpse of a cycle helmet moving “very quickly”.
He said the dog had come out of the bushes as Mr Watson went past and had been clipped by the bike. He said the dog had yelped before biting Mr Watson and then returning to him.
He denied giving a false name and said he had given Mr Watson the telephone number of his former address because it was the first number that came into his head.
Asked by trial judge John Devaux who he blamed for the incident, Davey replied: “I don’t blame anybody. Mr Watson and the dog arrived at a point in the forest at the same time. It was an accident.”