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24th Oct, 2021

Rugby woman runs up £2,785 legal bill for repeatedly failing to keep dogs on a lead

A DOG owner has run up a legal bill of nearly £2,800 for repeatedly failing to keep her dogs on a lead.

A magistrate commented Georgina Clarke had a ‘very expensive dog walk’ when she was first prosecuted by Rugby Borough Council (RBC) after letting her dogs run off the lead in Clifton Road cemetery in October 2016.

But after being found guilty in her absence at Coventry Magistrates Court of a further four breaches of the borough’s dog control Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO), Clarke’s dog walking has now cost her £2,785 in fines and legal costs.

Council community wardens spotted Clarke in Caldecott Park in August last year with three Chihuahuas running off the lead.

When Clarke saw the wardens she put two of the dogs on a lead. Reminded of the PSPO requirement to keep dogs on a lead while in the park, Clarke was asked to put the third dog, a puppy, on a lead and replied: “It’s just this one and she’s a baby.”

Wardens spotted Clarke in Caldecott Park again in October with three Chihuahuas off the lead, and in January this year, wardens witnessed her walking in Clifton Road cemetery with three Chihuahuas, an Alsatian and a Siberian Husky or similar breed all off the lead.

When the wardens spoke to her, Clarke admitted she had been warned on several occasions of the requirement to keep dogs on a lead while in the cemetery.

But Clarke was spotted again by wardens on patrol in Clifton Road in February walking on the footpath holding dog leads while three Chihuahuas were off the lead.

When the wardens asked Clarke if she had a reason for walking the dogs off the lead, she replied: “Yes, because I’m going home.”

At a hearing on Wednesday April 21, magistrates fined Clarke, of Cambridge Street, £100 for each breach of the PSPO and ordered her to pay the council’s costs of £1006.50.

She was also ordered to pay a £34 victim surcharge for each of the four breaches.

Imposing the fines, magistrates noted her repeated failures to comply with the PSPO and her previous convictions in April 2017 and June 2018 for breaches.

Speaking after the hearing, David Burrows, Rugby Borough Council chief officer for regulation and safety, said: “The dog control PSPO supports the council’s work to promote responsible dog ownership in the borough and aims to ensure our cemeteries, parks and green spaces remain a safe environment for our residents.

“The majority of dog owners do think of others when taking a pet out in public, but our community wardens have the power to issue Fixed Penalty Notices to residents who breach the PSPO and, with serious or serial offences, the council has no hesitation in taking matters to court.”

Visit www.rugby.gov.uk/dogcontrol for more information on the PSPO enforcing dog control in Rugby.

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