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Dog owner fined after Staffie mauls Paralympian's guide dog at Elm Park Tube

PUBLISHED: 18:00 31 March 2017

Barkingside Magistrates Court

Barkingside Magistrates Court

Archant

The owner of a hound that mauled a Paralympian's guide dog at a train station has been warned that if he is not careful, his pet will be destroyed.

CCTV footage from last June, played at Barkingside Magistrates Court today, showed Peter Kirby, 52, walking to Elm Park station with his two dogs Cassey and black, white and tan Staffordshire bull terrier Logan.

As they went into the station, blind man Mike Brace and his guide dog, a black labrador, Izzy, were being assisted by a member of staff from the platform to the ticket barriers.

But as the barriers opened, Logan leapt onto Izzy’s back with Mr Brace, a Paralympian, and member of staff trying to part them.

The court heard how Izzy was “bleeding a lot” and suffered a number of bruises on her back leaving her with several stitches.

Kirby’s defence lawyer Jed Shaw told the court how his client has restless leg syndrome, a neurological disorder that causes unpleasant sensations in the legs and an uncontrollable urge to move them.

Kirby, of Suttons Avenue, Hornchurch, who has a Freedom Pass, also has impaired vision.

Mr Shaw said how he was “not feeling well” on the day of the incident due to prescribed medication so did not stop Logan when he continued to walk in front of him.

He said: “They are not registered as assistance dogs but that is what they are essentially.

“If Mr Kirby arrived five seconds earlier, it would not have happened.”

Logan’s vet wrote a letter saying how Kirby is a “good, kind, respectable pet owner” as well as the dog’s previous owner who said he was “perfectly passive” and “never acted in an aggressive manner”.

Logan has been held in a kennel under police custody since the incident.

Mr Shaw said: “It is a very treasured pet and one that he is desperately keen to get back.

“Logan is the favourite dog at the kennel, because he is so well behaved and amenable.”

Kirby pleaded guilty and will have to pay a £250 fine, £30 victim surcharge and £250 compensation to the owner of the guide dog.

He was also told that he must keep Logan on a lead in public and must put a muzzle on him when travelling on public transport.

Prosecutor Philippa McCarthy said: “If he turns like this on one particular day, he could turn on another day and it could be a lot worse.”

Judge Gary Lucie also imposed a contingent destruction order which means that if Kirby does not follow these conditions or another incident takes place, Logan will be destroyed.

Speaking to Kirby, he said: “This dog is not a danger to public safety.

“I think this is a one off event and I think you are a respectable owner.

“You need to be very careful otherwise it will be a one way ticket.”

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