Moss and Co succeed in two cases concerning dangerous dogs
Doggy story 1
Our lady client had no previous convictions and had never been arrested before. She was arrested and charged with having a dog dangerously out of control in a public place. It was alleged that her Staffordshire Bull terrier had attacked another dog and had injured the owner of the other dog when he tried to separate them. Our client sustained injuries herself while separating the two dogs. The dog faced destruction if the owner was convicted. Dangerous Dogs cases are hard to win and always need expert evidence from a vet. The case needed careful preparation and so we:
- Took a comprehensive proof of evidence and comments on the prosecution case
- Obtained an expert report on the breed and temperament of our client’s dog.
- Obtained evidence that it is not possible for a person to say which of two dogs in a fight was the initial aggressor. This is because the signs and signals that the dogs give are too subtle and fast to be seen.
- Took a statement from the dogs vet confirming that the dog had never had to be muzzled when receiving treatment and by implication was not a dangerous dog.
- Obtained medical evidence confirming the treatment our client had received at hospital in relation to her injuries.
Two trials then took placed in which we had to apply for the juries to be discharged as the complainant kept referring to previous irrelevant incidents which amounted to introducing bad character.
At the direction of the Judge the prosecution applied for the bad character evidence to be admitted at the third trial. This is an application made without the Jury in Court. We opposed the application and the Judge declined to allow the witness to refer to the previous incidents.
At the third trial we called all our expert evidence about the temperament of the dog. The jury returned after less than 30 minutes with a not guilty verdict. Our client has since collected her dog which had held by the police since her prosecution. It would have been destroyed if there had been a conviction.
Doggy story 2
Our client was charged with having a dog dangerously out of control in a public place. It was alleged that his dog bit a member of the public while tied up outside a shop. We obtained an expert report on the breed and temperament of the dog. We chased the prosecution to obtain full disclosure, including the previous convictions of the prosecution witnesses and the 999 call.
The complainant did not attend Court for the first day of trial. She was contacted by the prosecution and placed conditions on her attendance. The prosecution made an application to adjourn the trial so arrangements could be made for the complainant to attend Court. We vigorously opposed this application; the prosecution offered no evidence and our client was acquitted.