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Dog owned by trust seriously injured a person

Author
Open Justice,
Publish Date
Fri, 20 May 2022, 3:50pm
A Taranaki trust has admitted to owning a dog that attacked a person. Photo / Stock Image 123rf
A Taranaki trust has admitted to owning a dog that attacked a person. Photo / Stock Image 123rf

Dog owned by trust seriously injured a person

Author
Open Justice,
Publish Date
Fri, 20 May 2022, 3:50pm

A Taranaki trust created to "enhance the lives of dogs, their owners and the community" has admitted owning a canine that seriously injured a person. 

The We Love Dogs Charitable Trust appeared in New Plymouth District Court on Thursday in respect to the attack. 

The trust pleaded guilty to a charge of owning a dog which causes injury. It carries a maximum penalty of three years' imprisonment or a fine of $20,000. 

The same charge was brought against one of the trustees, Denis Putt, but that was dismissed at the hearing by Judge Jane McMeeken following the trust's guilty plea. 

Defence counsel Mark Anderson asked for the trust's conviction to not yet be entered, indicating an application for a discharge without conviction would be made. 

He said the application would be argued on the usual grounds of the gravity of the offence versus the impact on the offender. 

Anderson also asked for the summary of facts to not be read out in open court and requested that a previously imposed suppression order concealing the summary remain in place until the next appearance. 

Crown prosecutor Jacob Bourke, on behalf of the New Plymouth District Council, opposed the continued suppression, arguing it was originally put in place to protect fair trial rights. 

"They've entered a guilty plea, they've indicated that they accept the summary so I would assume open justice now trumps," he said. 

But as the trust was now applying for a discharge without conviction, the matter of suppression could be dealt with alongside the application, Judge McMeeken said, ordering suppression to continue until then. 

The New Plymouth based charity's website states that it enhances the lives of dogs, their owners and the community. 

It provides a number of programmes, including desexing and the rehoming and fostering of dogs. It also calls on the public for donations. 

The trust will return to court on August 1. 

- by Tara Shaskey, Open Justice