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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69251
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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A member of my family was walking her small dog which

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A member of my family was walking her small dog which it is alleged bit someone on the back of the leg. They have reported the matter to the police. The very nice police lady has come (now a month later) and said that the family member must sign a form stating that the she will be a responsible dog owner and keep her dog on a leash at all times in public areas.
I am worried that as she did not actually see the dog biting anyone or the so called victim did not say anything about being bitten at the time that she is admitting liabilty for something that may or may not have ocurred. Is signing this form not an admission of liability? I do not put it past someone trying to make money fradulently through this alleged incident.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
No. It is signing an agreement to attend the course and an undertaking to keep him muzzled.
If she does not then they will prosecute her for S3 DDA 1991 and the dog will end up on a contingent destruction order. They are offering her the chance to escape a conviction.
You are probably right that this is probably a compensation hunter. There isn't any way around that. They might well sue. If they do then it can be defended. Even if she went to court and was acquitted though that wouldn't prevent a claim in the civil courts.
That said, I wouldn't take legal advice from police officers either.
The plain fact here though is that you have to take it in stages. Either she agrees to this or she runs the risk of being prosecuted to which charge she is not raising a defence.
Sorry but that is the reality of your position.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for that Jo. A few pertinent facts which are now probably pertinent to mention.

The WPC asked the 'victims' to keep and eye out for the family member during the following few weeks so that they could identify her and the dog.

My wife and ANOTHER DOG( hairy and not smooth coated ) was identified by them. They confronted my wife and accused her of being in charge of the offending dog. It WASN'T even my wife or the dog. When she correctly denied this fact they insinuated that she was lying. The person involved in the actual incident was another family member with a DIFFERENT dog.

'My blood started to boil' as they had falsely accused my wife in lieu of the other family member. Surely mis-identification of the dog as well as the dog walker would be strong as a point of defence.

Also there was no mention of muzzling the dog at all by the WPC.

Many thanks, ***** ***** I await your reply.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Well, it might.
The trouble with this is that you are increasing the risks.
The practical reality of situations like this is that, although there are compo hunters about, they do not usually make allegations without any act of provocation at all. It is always very hard to convince a court that a person would make an entirely false allegation with no motive.
I suppose if this is an injury case then at least you could elect crown court trial.
Misidentification of the dog may be useful although you do seem to accept there was some form of incident
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69251
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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