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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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After an incident between 2 dogs we have offered to pay the

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After an incident between 2 dogs we have offered to pay the vet bill as a gesture of good will. The other recipient is sending lots of texts messages that are upsetting my partner and a recent text states that she demands money by 7pm or is she is going to the police (legally I've checked she has no case) or she will be using the power of social media to bring us to justice and encouraging all her friends to do so. Is this black mail?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.
No. She is perfectly free to make a report to the police.This is not blackmail because it is not an unwarranted demand with menaces.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.
Also, please do not presume she has no case.She almost certainly does. Even dog fights are caught by the Dogs Act 1871 and the DDA 1991 can be made to apply if people say they were afraid for their own safety.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.
I wouldn't worry about whether it upsets your partner. Just protect your own position.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
We have offered to pay vet bill in full but refuse to pay cash as there is no proof, she will not accept this. I have spoken to the police and as our dog was on a lead and hers wasn't there is little to go. Our dog slipped the lead in the attack and her dog came worse off so we offered to pay as a gesture of good will. But I am only willing to pay by the proper channels. This is being on weeks as she only provided a vet bill 2 days ago
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.
There is a case to answer. Being on a lead is no defence - case of Gedmintaite.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.
You need to make a decision really over which is the lower risk course of action.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.
She may go to the police. If she does then there is a case to answer. if it turns into a Dogs Act 1871 matter then it would only really end in a control order.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Would you advise paying cash?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.
If it turns into a DDA 1991 matter then there are penal consequences for that but your dog would still only end up on a contingent destruction order.Also, she may be reluctant to do that because it would ultimately mean it would be harder to get the money from you.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.
The Dogs Act doesn't give rise to a claim in compensation. The DDA does and she would probably get vet's bills but she would need to show that a person there present was in fear of injury to a person.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.
Paying cash doesn't really protect your position. The reality is that there is no trace. Your request for a receipt is reasonable. She could always start demanding more and more and denying she has been paid which does border on blackmail.One option is to pay and then send her texts confirming payment. You could also withdraw the funds from a cash point near her immediately before paying so there would be a record that a withdrawal of the exact sum had been made near her which would probably be enough to satisfy that she was paid.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.
It depends how badly you need to avoid the risk of a criminal record. The worst case scenario is a conviction under the DDA 1991. The truth is that is not really a proper conviction. People do have to disclose it but it has no impact upon their life really because it says nothing about their character. It is one of those offences that captures the law abiding.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
The sum is too high for a cash machine and the bank haven't been helpful is supplying a bankers draft, my original request. To order a new cheque book and wait would only make things worse
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.
If you are prepared to run the risk then just refuse to pay unless it is by cheque. If she goes to the police then don't pay at all unless the Court orders it.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.
BASCs transfer.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.
there are alternatives that leave a trace.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
She won't give details for bacs, what are the chances of a conviction under dda as it is not a dangerous breed. Her dog attacked first which we cant prove but as our dog is bigger her dog came off much worse, we only offered to pay as felt sorry for her dog
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.
Well, then you cannot make payment.The chances of conviction are ones you cannot ignore. It depends whether or not she is believed if she says that she felt that she was afraid of injury to herself and whether that is reasonable.I wouldn't bet anything valuable on Magistrates getting it right. They are not a very respected tribunal and they are generally outrageously biased in favour of the Crown.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I've explained what you have just said and she has given me bacs details. Will go and pay it. Can she make any further claim
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.
Send her an accompanying email saying that this is in full and final settlement of any claim on a basis that you do not admit liability. She wouldn't get more than the vet's bills anyway but just for confirmation.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69534
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Sorry for late reply, power cut at bank and others shut. Thank you for advice

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