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Dog owner fined after border collie bit two people ‘out of the blue’

Suffolk Magistrates' Court  Picture: ARCHANT

Suffolk Magistrates' Court Picture: ARCHANT

A dog owner has been fined more than £1,000 after his border collie bit two people on the wrist.

Edward Buckland was sentenced by magistrates on Monday for two counts of being the owner of a dangerously out of control dog.

The 71-year-old, of Bramford Road, Little Blakenham, admitted one of the charges but denied the second and was convicted following a trial earlier this year.

Prosecutor Tess Mann told magistrates the first incident happened on August 3 last year, when border collie bitch, Darcy, leapt up and bit the wrist of a man working on Buckland’s property.

Buckland took responsibility for the unprovoked attack, she told the court, but denied the second incident on August 19, when the dog bit the wrist of another man putting items in a commercial waste bin at the adjacent Broomvale Business Centre.

“Although the defendant accepted the description matched his dog, he didn’t believe the incident could have occurred, because his dog never leaves his side,” she added.

Sentencing was adjourned following Buckland’s conviction on November 21 for a pre-sentence report to be prepared by the probation service, which said the former commercial farmer clearly had an interest in the care and wellbeing of his dog, and other animals still kept on his land, including a pig, goat and geese.

Buckland had fully complied with a contingent destruction order issued following conviction, ruling the dog must be muzzled and kept on a lead at all times in public; that strong and suitable fencing must be installed in the garden enclosure of Buckland’s property, and that the dog must not be allowed in a neighbouring farm shop during opening hours.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart problems would prevent Buckland from carrying out unpaid work as punishment, concluded the probation service, which said custody would have a detrimental effect on his health and maintenance of his property.

Juliet Donovan, mitigating, said every measure of the contingent destruction order had been met, including Buckland spending £8,000 on the enclosure for his dog.

She said the attacks were not deliberate acts “in any way, shape or form”, and that the dog was friendly, loyal and faithful in its home environment but had bitten two people “out of the blue”.

Buckland was fined a total of £1,201 and ordered to pay £650 in prosecution costs.

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