Dog attack blamed on woman's 'safety' jacket

Posted On 15 Feb 2011 at 10:46 am

A dog attacked a woman because she was in a high-visibility jacket – worn to ensure her health and safety.

The dog, a Belgian shepherd called Ian, attacked Red Cross volunteer Valerie Cane at an event called Brighton Big Dog, a mountain biking event in Stanmer Park.

Ian’s teeth went through the jacket sleeve and into Mrs Cane’s arm.

Mrs Cane screamed in pain and shouted at the dog’s owner who apologised and said that the dog did not like high-visibility jackets.

The owner, Adrian Winder, 62, of The Avenue in Kingston, Lewes, claimed that the dog belonged to a friend and had been rescued.

He offered her money to keep the matter from going any further and gave her a false name, John Stevens.

Mrs Cane was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital for treatment and the incident was reported to the animal welfare team at Brighton and Hove City Council.

They found that Mr Winder had lied about his name and brought him before Brighton magistrates.

Winder pleaded guilty to failing to keep his dog under proper control during the attack last August.

He was fined £330, ordered to pay £270 towards the council’s legal costs and £150 in compensation to Mrs Cane.

Len Batten, prosecuting, said that, in October, Winder had admitted that he had failed to keep Ian under proper control on a separate occasion when Ian had attacked another dog.

Ian was banned from entering Stanmer Park and Stanmer Woods.

Councillor Geoffrey Theobald, the council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “Public safety is a high priority for this council and it is the duty of all dog owners to ensure that their pets do not present a danger to the public.”

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