Jail for dog owner who tried to bribe bite victim before threat of violence
PUBLISHED: 08:14 16 March 2018 | UPDATED: 11:29 16 March 2018
Supplied by Suffolk police
A Suffolk man has been jailed for threatening the victim of a dog attack after failing to bribe him into dropping the charges.
Ollie Deeks will serve six months behind bars for being in charge of a dangerously out-of-control dog, attempting to pervert the course of justice, and witness intimidation.
Michael Harrison required 32 stitches when his arm was bitten to the bone by a mixed breed dog called Diablo last April.
It left him unable to grip as he did before the attack, which took place as he passed the dog on the landing of his shared Haverhill home, where Deeks was invited by another resident to sleep while without fixed accommodation.
Deeks, 25, of Fornham Road, Bury St Edmunds, had denied offering Mr Harrison money in a text message before threatening to “cut him up” for pressing charges.
Prosecutor Gavin Capper told Ipswich Crown Court that police had advised Deeks to muzzle the dog – since described as “very aggressive” while in the custody of kennel staff – after it previously bit Mr Harrison.
Oliver Haswell, representing Deeks, said the threat was nothing but a “moment of madness” from his client, who was now holding down work at his father’s firm and had recently became a parent.
If spared jail, he said Deeks could enter a cognitive skills course with the probation service.
“Allow him to prove these sorry events are a thing of the past,” he urged Judge Martyn Levett.
The judge told Deeks: “I’m sure you realised the seriousness of the incident. That’s why you sent texts suggesting Mr Harrison would be offered money to drop the charges.
“When that had no effect, you told him the dog bite would be nothing compared to him being ‘cut up’, or you getting ‘your boys’ after him.” He said the offences were too serious for a suspended sentence, handing Deeks 12 months’ custody – half behind bars and half on licence.
The court heard how Deeks denied ownership of the dog – one of three he kept at the house in Haverhill – and that he had been charged with failing to properly look after the dogs as puppies that January, but was not convicted until September, when he was ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work and banned from keeping animals.
Diablo’s assumed owner, a serving prisoner, will be required to respond to an application for the dog’s destruction by April 16.