Postman was bitten on arm and leg

News from the courts

News from the courts

A ex-police dog, now a family pet, has been spared a destruction order after biting a postman on the arm and leg.

Ruby, a German Shepherd, attacked the postman when he was trying to deliver a parcel at Ballacain House on Little Mill Road in Onchan.

Albert Guest, aged 55, who is not the owner of the dog, but was in charge of it at the time of the incident, was ordered to pay £50 prosecution costs.

Magistrates’ made a court order that the dog be kept under proper control in future.

Prosecutor Rachael Braidwood told the court how, on September 23, Brian Blair had been delivering parcels in Onchan.

He rang the bell at Ballacain House and said that a large dog came around from the back of the house and started barking and jumping up.

Mr Blair said he held up a parcel to protect himself but was bitten on the leg and arm.

He was taken to hospital where it was said he had to spend three nights due to his injuries and then return a few weeks later for an operation.

Guest admitted he had been responsible for the dog and had failed to keep it under control.

Mrs Braidwood did not make any application for the destruction of the dog, but the court heard that this was still an option for the magistrates when sentencing.

Defending Guest in court, advocate Lydia Mulligan said: ‘Mr Guest acknowledged that he was the keeper of the dog on that day.

‘The owner is also in court. Clearly this is a very emotive issue. Ruby is a family pet, used to being in the home.

‘Ruby is an ex-police dog. She did her training but did not make the grade so she was sold.

‘It is very unusual she would react in this way. There are lots of people milling around the cottages.

‘It is admitted that Ruby barks and is noisy but never goes any further. We can only think Mr Blair has reacted to the noise by defending himself and she has reacted to that.

Ruby’s owner Marcia Brabbs was in tears as she made an emotional plea against a destruction order saying: ‘Ruby is a family pet. The house is also used as a haven for victims of abuse. Ruby regularly meets people and there are no issues.

‘We have been training her, if you raise your arms she sits at your feet. This is incredibly unusual. All I can say is he must have done something.

‘She is all bark. She came into the house just before my son died. She is known by everyone as a big softie.’

Chair of the magistrates Brian Walton said: ‘We have considered what everyone has had to say and will make an order that the dog be kept under proper control.’

Mr Walton added that any claim for compensation would have to be pursued through a civil court.

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