Ipswich woman fined for owning dangerously out of control greyhound

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court, Ipswich. Picture: GREGG BROWN

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court, Ipswich. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

A dog owner has been fined after pleading guilty to being in charge of a ‘dangerously out of control dog’.

Ipswich Magistrates Court heard that Jane Southall, of Tuddenham Avenue, Ipswich, lost control of her greyhound, Fynn, in Suffolk Road after a clasp attached to the lead came loose during a pause in their walk on March 23.

Freed from his lead, the court heard that Fynn had bounded down Suffolk Road toward victim, Emma Free and her guide dog, Ivy. Prosecution lawyer, David Bryant, told the court that witnesses had seen Miss Free fall to the ground while Fynn barked and growled at Ivy and that Miss Free was visibly shaken by the incident.

Although no physical interaction between the two dogs took place, the incident is still classified as an ‘attack’ because Ivy is a service dog.

A statement by Miss Free read to the court stated: “Me and Ivy are still being affected by this. Ivy is now very cautious and I am still reliving the incident in my mind.

I now do not like to take that route on Thursdays anymore, and I feel anxious a lot of the time. If I am out with Ivy and hear any sounds like keys rattling, it makes me incredibly nervous. This has greatly impacted our lives.”

Defence lawyer, David Allen, told the court that Miss Southall, 54, was a long-standing and responsible dog owner of good character.

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“Fynn came to Miss Southall almost by accident. He was previously owned by an elderly man and didn’t perhaps get the attention and socialisation he needed due to his owners frailty.

“He was left alone for long periods and when his previous owner passed away, Fynn was inside with the body for a long time before he was found.

“Miss Southall took him in and under her care, Fynn became happier, very loving and a source of pride to the family.

“No injuries at all took place during this incident and Fynn has never bit anyone or any dog before or since”.

The prosecution argued that magistrates should rule to fit Fynn with a muzzle and for him to be permanently kept on a lead - an argument that the defence said would be an ‘extreme’ measure and one to the detriment of Fynn’s wellbeing.

The court heard that Miss Southall had shown remorse and apologised to Miss Free and was also taking Fynn to extra training lessons with a behaviour specialist. She had also since purchased another dog, Juno, to help Fynn with his social skills.

Miss Southall was found guilty and ordered to pay a £300 fine, £300 compensation to Miss Free as well as a victim surcharge of £30 and £300 court fees.