The latest case for Farleys’ criminal law team saw them defend a client of the canine variety.

Jay, a bull breed, was involved with an altercation with another dog in the street. While attempting to separate the two dogs, a passer-by was nipped by Jay. Jay’s owner was prosecuted under the Dangerous Dogs Act and banned from keeping dogs for 10 years.

Often, in cases like this, the court would order that the dog must be put down; especially as the owner had been deemed to be unfit to have such a dog. Under Section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, on conviction, the court must order a dog to be put down unless it can be proven that the dog does not constitute a danger to public safety.

Gareth Hawden Solicitor and Higher Courts Advocate Farleys SolicitorsGareth Hawden, a solicitor in Farleys’ criminal law team, instructed a dog behaviourist who assessed Jay and confirmed that he didn’t represent a risk to public safety if kept with a responsible owner.

Following this assessment, Gareth contacted a number of animal welfare charities including DDA Watch and Carla Lane Animals In Need who ran national campaigns to find Jay new owners. The charities helped to assess potential owners who had previously owned dogs of this kind before and completed a home assessment on the proposed owners.

Gareth then took the case to the court to argue that Jay should not be put down as he posed no risk to public safety and suitable new owners had been found. The court agreed and ordered that Jay should go to live with his new owners but must wear a lead and muzzle when out in public.

Gareth commented,

This is a great result which has protected the life of a dog which had only posed a risk due to unfit ownership by his previous owner. We are delighted that Jay will be able to begin a new life with his new owners.

Carla Lane Animals In Need commented,

“What a huge relief for all of us who have worked so hard to get this result! We cannot thank you all enough for being there for Jay and for us. The current dog legislation is not fit for purpose and while it is in force, dogs’ lives are at risk, often purely due to owner error.”

DDA Watch added,

“We are so pleased Jay will now have a safe and happy future”

Farleys’ criminal defence team has extensive experience of assisting clients accused of various criminal offences. For advice and representation please call 0845 287 0939 or contact us by email.