17th December 2019
A TERRIER belonging to Isle of Wight Hunt huntsman and kennelman Rupert Inglesant will be destroyed, on the order of a judge.
Tigger bit a dog walker on the thigh in Gatcombe then went on to be dangerously out of control on two other occasions.
His owner, Inglesant, appeared at the Isle of Wight Magistrates’ Court today (Tuesday) but District Judge Anthony Callaway said he didn’t have to stand in the dock — citing “You are not the sort of person we ordinarily have in court — there is no need for you to stand in the dock.”
Inglesant, 55, of Gatcombe, was prosecuted under the Dangerous Dog Act 1991 and admitted being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control causing injury on June 25, and being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control (no injury) on November 3 and November 9.
Ann Smout, prosecuting, said after the first attack, Inglesant was subject to a conditional caution to keep the dog under control in public, and muzzled. Inglesant also paid the vet bills for the woman, whose dog was also attacked.
The court was shown a photo of the woman’s injuries, which Judge Callaway described as: “Quite a nasty bite mark with puncture wounds and scratches. The photo speaks for itself.”
However, on November 3, a man was walking his friend’s Labrador when they came across the terrier, snarling and barking. He had to use a stick to prevent the terrier from biting him. He said he would not be happy walking in the area again.
Six days later, another man was walking down a bridleway towards his home when he saw Tigger on his driveway. He got a broom and used it to guide the dog away. He described it as growling, with snapping teeth.
He told police: “It was frightening. I thought I was going to get bitten. It was a very aggressive animal and in my opinion will attack again.”
Barry Arnett, for Inglesant, said the huntsman had been involved with hounds and dogs for 30 years, and had moved to the Island in May. He and his wife were moving off the Island within the next few months.
He said Inglesant had never had a problem with a dog before and was ‘of hitherto good character’.
He was adamant the woman’s dog had bitten Tigger, which had caused him to retaliate.
Since the attacks, Tigger didn’t even go into the garden without being on a lead, and he no longer exercises or mixes with the hounds. Mr Arnett said: “The dog has effectively been put in solitary confinement.”
Judge Callaway said the original conditional caution had not worked and it was with regret, he ordered the destruction of the dog.
He also ordered Ingelsant to pay a £850 fine for the first charge, and £350 each for the subsequent two, plus £85 costs and an £85 surcharge.