‘Dangerous’ dog owner cops hefty fine for attack

Headshot of Adam Poulsen
Adam PoulsenGeraldton Guardian
Geraldton Courthouse.
Camera IconGeraldton Courthouse. Credit: Anita Kirkbright, The Geraldton Guardian

A 53-year old Geraldton man whose dog attacked an unsuspecting pedestrian is $8500 out of pocket following a failed bid to fight the charges.

Anthony Thomas Farrell today appeared in Geraldton District Court after pleading not guilty to five offences including failure to ensure control of a dangerous dog.

The attack happened in February 2018.

The victim was walking past Farrell’s First Street home in Wonthella with his partner about 11.30pm when the dog – a bull mastiff named Buddy – gave chase and mauled him, the court was told.

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His injuries required treatment in hospital and he told the court he had lost the feeling in the back of his knee as a result.

Farrell did not report the incident. A City of Greater Geraldton ranger who took the witness box said Farrell admitted being aware that Buddy was responsible for the attack.

He surrendered the dog voluntarily to the city pound, but the animal was stolen several days later and has never been located, the court was told.

The incident followed another attack in 2015, where Buddy bit a teenage boy in front of the same property and was subsequently declared a dangerous dog.

After this, Farrell was required by law to keep Buddy confined in an enclosure in his backyard.

But Magistrate Sandra De Maio said this had clearly not been the case on the night of the second attack, and that the dog should not have had access to the front yard.

She fined Farrell $3000 and ordered him to pay $5500 in costs. She also ordered that the dog be destroyed if it is ever located.

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