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.

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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

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