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Woman fined over dog fouling in park

PUBLISHED: 20:02 27 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:26 03 March 2010

A WOMAN has fallen foul of the law by letting her dog poo in an Ipswich park.

But the business got even messier and more costlier for her when she not only failed to clear up after her pooch but refused to pay a standard £25 fine which backfired when a court ordered her to hand over £150.

A WOMAN has fallen foul of the law by letting her dog poo in an Ipswich park.

But the business got even messier and more costlier for her when she not only failed to clear up after her pooch but refused to pay a standard £25 fine which backfired when a court ordered her to hand over £150.

Miranda Cook, of Dunlin Road, was observed near South Lodge in Chantry Park in January by a Councils Enforcement Officer as part of a crackdown on the problem.

Cook failed to pay a standard £25 fine and the case went to South East Suffolk Magistrates Court. As she failed to turn up at court magistrates fined in her absence.

Ernest Hagan, senior technical officer, at Ipswich Borough Council told the Evening Star how she was caught.

He said: "We watched the woman and her dog and saw the dog fouling. We then gave her a few minutes to clear the mess up, but she made no effort to do so. I then identified myself and told her what she had done. She made an excuse that she thought it was another dog that had caused the mess.

"I issued a caution to her and then proceeded with the interview and told her that she would have to pay a £25 fine."

Mr Hagan said this was one of the rare times that a large fine had been handed out by a court as most dog owners usually pay the £25 fine.

He added: "We normally operate by following up complaints – often that involve areas where children play. We rely on the public to observe people walking dogs and then inform us of any problems. If they can tell us that a certain dog will be in a certain area at a certain time, we can begin our own observation."

Mike Grimwood, of the borough council's animal services, said this case came ahead of a forthcoming weeklong focus on the problem.

He said: "As of March 11, we will spend a whole week enforcing this problem. Our officers will be out and about, morning, noon and night observing dogs all over Ipswich.

"We will also be educating the public by handing out leaflets and telling them to bag and dispose of the dog's mess in a proper manner.

Under the 1996 Dog Fouling Of The Land Act, the maximum fine for people who let their dogs foul in a public place is £1,000.

Anybody observed doing so can expect a £25 fine, with failure to pay within 14 days resulting in possible action.

n Anyone with any information on dog owners who let their pets foul in public, should contact Ipswich Borough Council on 01473 433015

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