Final chance for 'menace' dog

A WOMAN accused of failing to keep a "menace" dog under control said it had been provoked by "over assertive" police officers.She added that the animal, a male Japanese Akita dog called Zeus, is not dangerous, despite its fierce appearance.

A WOMAN accused of failing to keep a "menace" dog under control said it had been provoked by "over assertive" police officers.

She added that the animal, a male Japanese Akita dog called Zeus, is not dangerous, despite its fierce appearance.

Vicki Sharratt, 49, from Waterford Road, Ipswich appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to a charge of letting her dog become dangerously out of control in public.

As the charge was read out, Sharratt said: "The dog was not dangerous and was not out of control."


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The court heard how in January 2002, an order had been made for Sharratt to keep the animal under control after it bit a child.

Godfried Duah, prosecuting said: "On January 2, 2003, police officers were called to an area where Miss Sharratt walks her dog. It was not on a lead and had no collar on. The dog was found to be on the road where children were and vehicles had to take action to avoid hitting it."

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The court heard the possibility of the animal being put down and Sharratt started crying.

Mr Duah added: "I will point out to the court that the dog has become a menace. There were children in the vacinity and she had failed to keep the dog under proper control."

Ian Duckworth, mitigating, said: "The incident happened in January 2003 but a summons was not issued until June. If it was serious, it would have been rushed through quickly. There is no suggestion that the dog went for anybody, but it was in the road and she apologises for that."

Sharratt was fined £10 for the offence but warned that her pet may be put down if not kept under proper control.

After the case Sharratt stressed the dog had only bit a child in 2002 after a group of children "had thrown sticks at it."

Speaking to the Evening Star, she felt that the police had been too aggressive when dealing with the animal. She also revealed that two-year-old Zeus will now always wear a restraint so she will have control over her pet.

She said: "The dog was hassled by the police and they were being over assertive.

"The dog was walking in front of me and all of a sudden three panda cars appeared and the officers came out with two nets.

"He looks like a lion but the neighbours know he would not hurt anybody.

"I have lived on a farm with horses so I know about animals. You wouldn't be able to look after him if you didn't know what you were doing."

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