The offence was observed earlier this year by witnesses who challenged the dog owner, Mr Graham Robert Johnson of Circular Road, Douglas. Mr Johnson ignored the challenge, the witnesses reported the offence and their statements were taken. Council enforcement officers visited Mr Johnson who denied the charge, prompting the Council to instigate court proceedings. On May 4th Douglas magistrates heard the contested matter. After hearing the evidence the court found the defendant, Mr Johnson, guilty. He was fined £150 and ordered to pay costs of £122.50 to the Council.
Environmental services advisory committee lead member Councillor Ritchie McNicholl said: ‘The Council has always made it clear that it will not hesitate in prosecuting irresponsible dog owners who allow their dogs to foul the streets. This successful outcome sends out an unequivocal message that the Council will be relentless in its pursuit of those who flout the town’s byelaws.
‘While I would accept that most dog owners are responsible individuals there will always be the minority who show no respect for their fellow citizens. Dog fouling is an act of extreme antisocial behaviour and I believe the Council’s tough stance and the actions it is prepared to take reflect the anger and revulsion felt by the overwhelming majority of the community. Our Borough wardens work tirelessly to ensure the town’s byelaws are observed, in particular those relating not only to dog fouling but also to litter, graffiti and fly tipping.
‘Litter – whatever its source – is a blight on our town and a community problem that demands a community response. I should therefore like to express my gratitude on behalf of the Council to the witnesses in this prosecution, for the civic pride they showed in coming forward and reporting the incident and for being prepared to give evidence in court.’