Dog owner fined by ancient law

An ancient law has been used possibly for the first time in the UK to ban a Nottingham man from owning a dog for 10 years.

Live updates

Officer welcomes £600 fine for dog owner

The top enforcement officer at Nottingham City Council has welcomed the use of a 140-year-old law to prosecute an "irresponsible" dog owner.

Sarwan Gill, aged 52, from Surbiton Court, Mapperley, was prosecuted under the 1871 Dogs Act for what prosecutors labelled "irresponsible ownership" of his bull mastiff-type dog, which was allowed to roam free and attacked two people.

The head of neighbourhood enforcement for community protection at the council, Richard Antcliff, said it was the first prosecution under the act for a very long time - possibly ever - in Nottingham.

This shows that the City will use whatever tools we have at our disposal. Even if those tools are old.

It’s very sad whenever a dog is destroyed, but the owner is the only one to blame.

It was imperative that we stopped the owner and the dog causing any further harm to residents and staff and the fact we’ve been able to ban him from owning another dog was the right thing to do.

We’re hoping that the residents of this area can go back to living their lives in peace.

– Richard Antcliff, Nottingham City Council

Ancient act used as police 'left powerless' by recent law

Residents who lived near an "irresponsible" dog owner said the animal had destroyed the "idyllic" area.

Enforcement officer for Nottingham City Council, Cathy Scales, said she had received numerous complaints about dog mess, the bull mastiff-type dog being allowed to roam free, and the aggressive owner.

Sarwan Gill, aged 52, from Surbiton Court, Mapperley, was prosecuted under the 1871 Dogs Act after police were left powerless by the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, which excludes attacks on private land.

It is believed to be the first time the law has been used against a badly behaved dog owner.

Residents in this particular area of Mapperley had described it as ‘an idyllic place to live’ before the arrival of this dangerous dog.

They pleaded with the owner to keep the dog under proper control, but these pleas were ignored.

In early 2013, one of the residents was physically attacked and injured by the dog, but unfortunately the police could take no further action because the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 does not cover incidents on private land.

Over the next few months, the situation worsened, with elderly residents and children becoming increasing concerned for their own safety and with witness statements describing people ‘living in fear’ of the animal.

During this period, the dog attacked another resident, causing injury to his arm.

After further investigation, we discovered that we could use a piece of very old legislation.

Section 2 of the Dogs Act 18711 precedes the 1991 Act by a whopping 120yrs, but the Act still stands.

– Enforcement officer Cathy Scales, Nottingham City Council

Advertisement

Ancient law used on dog owner after attacks

An ancient law has been used possibly for the first time in the UK to ban a Nottingham man from owning a dog for 10 years after two people were attacked by his pet.

Sarwan Gill, aged 52, from Surbiton Court, Mapperley, was prosecuted under the 1871 Dogs Act for what prosecutors labelled "irresponsible ownership" of his bull mastiff-type dog.

Sarwan Gill was prosecuted at Nottingham Magistrates Court Credit: Rowan Mason/PA

The dog attacked and injured two people and nearby residents were "living in fear" of the animal, with other complaints including dog fouling, the dog not being kept on a lead and Gill himself being aggressive.

Gill was fined £600 by district judge Leo Pyle at Nottingham Magistrates Court under the ancient law.

The judge also ordered the dog be destroyed and banned Gill from keeping any other dogs for 10 years.

Back to top