Stevenage councillor who was victim of dog bite hopes his case will highlight new law
- Credit: Archant
A councillor who was bitten by a dog while delivering leaflets hopes his case will highlight a recent change in the law.
Robin Parker, who represents the Manor ward on Stevenage Borough Council, was bitten outside a house in Ferrier Road, Stevenage, while campaigning on May 21 ahead of the European and council elections.
A series of changes to the Dangerous Dogs Act came into effect in England and Wales just nine days before meaning that an owner could be charged for having their dog dangerously out of control dog in a private place.
This resulted in the dog’s owner Jacqueline Minett, 56, being convicted at Stevenage Magistrates’ Court last week for having her 11-year-old collie named Alfie dangerously out of control.
Councillor Parker, who is the leader of the Stevenage Liberal Democrats, said: “The whole thing has been an annoyance. I had to report it to the police, go to hospital and take a course of antibiotics. I hope that this case highlights the new law which states that people need to keep control of their animals regardless of where they are.”
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Minett was ordered to pay court fees of £85, a £15 victim support charge and given a 12-month conditional discharge. She was told that if Alfie is out of control again he will be put down.
A statement from the family said: “Our entire family are absolutely shocked and distraught by this whole ordeal. To have our family dog’s life on the line was so frightening for us all.”
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Fellow councillor Ann Webb, who is responsible for housing on SBC, said: “This matter has been dealt with by the courts and we have spoken to our tenant about the situation. We have not served her an eviction notice and are dealing with this case, as we would with any other tenant.”