‘Ignorant’ dog owner convicted of anti-social behaviour

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A senior councillor has blased the “sheer ignorance” of St Helens dog owner who has been convicted for the second time under a new anti-social behaviour legislation.

Peter Woods, of the Golden Lion Hotel, Church Road, Rainford, was ordered to pay a total of £1540 after being found guilty in his absence at Liverpool and Knowsley and St Helens Magistrates for continually breaching a Community Protection Notice.

On 27 June, 2016, Woods was reported to St Helens Council’s Dog Welfare and Enforcement team after a council employee witnessed his Doberman type dog straying on an area of open space adjacent to Church Road, Rainford.

The court heard how his conduct had been deemed by St Helens Council’s Dog Welfare and Enforcement Service to be persistent, of a continuing nature, and having a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality.

Over a four year period between 2011 and 2015, Woods had allowed his Doberman to stray in a public place and to enter private properties where the dog was not permitted, despite numerous written warnings from the service.

It was only when the new Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 was introduced, that the Dog Welfare and Enforcement Service was able to effectively resolve the matter.

Woods, 66, was issued with a Community Protection Notice in February 2015, but despite this, he continued to allow his dog to stray in the area of Church Road, Rainford.

The Dog Welfare and Enforcement Service issued Woods with a Fixed Penalty Notice of £100 for the most recent incident, but Woods did not discharge liability for the offence, resulting in the service taking legal action.

Woods was fined £880, with costs of £572 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £88.

Coun Seve Gomez-Aspron, cabinet member for green, smart and sustainable borough, said: “To allow a dog to roam around a public space where it is not permitted once is bad enough, but to continue to allow this to happen, despite numerous warnings and a previous conviction, is just sheer ignorance.

“In this case, the service had no option but to use new anti-social behaviour legislative powers to resolve this matter which has left the offender with a rather large fine to pay for something that could have easily been avoided.

“I’m pleased with this outcome. It shows that we will not stand for offences like this - which are a nuisance to society - to go unpunished.”