My partner and I have 2 Japanese Akita's, brother and sister from same litter now 18mths old, at the time of the "offence" still puppies 9 mths old but growing then about 35kgs.
Had move to new area Abridge, Essex, renting out my home so that I could rent a place in the country with a sizable garden for the dogs.
On the day in question, a sunny 3rd July last year they had been taken for a long walk (3hrs)
I am 62 semi-retired, work from home so i can devote this length time to the dogs. Now late afternoon, dogs asleep in back garden, french windows open, Ice cream van turns up packs outside across the road, call to my partner, whose upstairs, want icecream, "Yes" so precede out of front door and buy 2 ice creams
On rounding the van see my 2 dogs on a neighbours lawn with my partner in chase. we round up the dogs and take them back when the neighbour 2 doors away tells me one dog bit her daughters 11 yr old friend who was round their house and both had also gone out to buy ice cream.
I did see the girls on their pourch step tying a shoe lace.
I can only conclude that the dogs heard me go out, ran after me, somehow got the door open, i remember pulling it too, come out can't see me (behind van) seen girls run playfully towards them, girls scream run into house, doors follow and although nobody witnessed it the 11 year old sustained "they say a bite" to me looks like it could be a scratch, on her waist above left buttock.
They made a big thing of it, took girl to hospital, not serious, gaven her antibiotics. Did draw blood but not serious probably heal up and not leave scar
I reported the incident to the police first to get advice about what to do, girls mother ( both single parents) and then the other mother also phoned police.
I get asked to go voluntary to police station, get interviewed then staggered when told they are going to prosecute.
Pleaded not guilty at Chelmsford Mag court, in August had a p & case man in October, warn period early Jan, was adjourned as I had been away and police couldn't trace witness and mother who had move away from area.
Now in the warn period starting Monday, representing myself case is full of holes, nobody saw which dog or even the incident
Please advise how I should proceed and on what grounds I should contest it