Magistrates order dog to be muzzled in public places

12:08 15 August 2014

Exeter Magistrates Court

Exeter Magistrates Court

Archant

A dog owned by an Exmouth couple must be muzzled and kept on a lead after a series of attacks on other dogs, magistrates have said.

Jess, a Jack Russell Patterdale, is owned by Linda Jones, 54, and John Nesbitt, 65, of Summer Close.

Exeter Magistrates’ Court heard last week that since 2010, Jess has been responsible for numerous attacks on other dogs while out with Jones and Nesbitt.

One dog, named Badger, has been attacked by Jess on no fewer than five occasions.

Before the last incident, in February this year, Badger’s owner, concerned for her dog’s safety after the previous attacks, made sure she checked that Jess was not around before tying Badger up in the Magnolia Centre as she went shopping.

However, CCTV cameras then captured Jess running up and attacking Badger, causing injuries which had to be treated by a vet, before being pulled away by Nesbitt.

Nigel Wraith, applying to the court for a dog control order for Devon and Cornwall Police, said that Badger and his owner had first encountered Jess on Exmouth beach in around 2010, when on two occasions Jess attacked Badger while loose.

Badger was then attacked by a loose Jess while walking into Exmouth in 2011, and while tied in the Magnolia Centre in 2013.

Mr Wraith also told the court that Jess had attacked another dog in June 2012, and during another attack bit another dog’s owner on the arm.

The court was told that on two occasions Jones and Nesbitt had offered to pay injured dogs’ vets bills following Jess’s attacks, and that when interviewed by police in April this year Nesbitt had said Jess would be kept on a lead, although the court also heard that since then Jess had again been seen off her lead by a dog warden.

Mr Wraith also told the court of an incident in April 2011, when a member of the public witnessed Jess being thrown repeatedly into the sea at Exmouth.

Mr Wraith told the magistrates that Jones and Nesbitt were prosecuted for cruelty, but having initially been convicted by magistrates, were cleared on appeal at Exeter Crown Court.

Under Section Two of the Dogs Act, magistrates could have been asked to consider ordering Jess to be destroyed, but instead considered a control order.

They ordered that Jess should be kept on a lead and muzzled at all times when in a public place.

They also said that if Jones and Nesbitt, who were not in court for the hearing, were found in breach of the order, they could be fined, or disqualified from keeping dogs.

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