A dog owner who allowed his pet to stray off the lead while walking in St Helens town centre has been fined.
Shaun Pimlott, of Sorogold Street, was convicted at St Helens Magistrates’ Court after being spotted walking along Corporation Street last year.
The court heard he had no control over the dog, which was wandering close to the edge of the footpath some distance in front of him.
The enforcement officer who spotted him was concerned the dog could walk into the path of traffic, but when he asked Pimlott to put the animal on a lead the defendant refused, walking off towards the town centre.
Pimlott was eventually traced to business premises on Westfield Street with the help of a colleague and council CCTV.
When the officer arrived the dog was unattended and being left to stray outside the building, and the animal was seized.
Pimlott still refused to co-operate or provide details even when police attended the scene, but eventually confirmed the information about the dog.
The animal was eventually handed back to him on condition he bought a lead and paid a £25 release fee.
He was also issued with a fixed penalty notice for refusing to obey the officer’s instructions to put his dog on a lead, but did not pay within the time limit.
Although Pimlott did not attend the court he was found guilty in his absence and became only the second person to be convicted under the Dogs on Leads by Direction (St Helens Council) Order 2012.
He was fined £80 and also ordered to pay a £20 victims’ surcharge and £474.64 in costs.
St Helens Council’s cabinet member for green, smart and sustainable borough, Coun Seve Gomez-Aspron said: “Busy town centres are no place for a dog that’s off the lead.
“Out of control dogs can be responsible for traffic accidents, put people in fear or, in the worst case scenario, attack someone.
“Hopefully this case proves that no one is above the law and that the consequences when someone refuses to co-operate can be severe.”