A man standing trial after his dog killed a former lollipop man was “dismissive” of a dog warden’s grave concerns about his pet a court heard today (Tues).
Aaron Joseph, 30, who lived at the time of the incident in a block of flats at Riddings Road, Sheepridge, denies a single charge of being the owner of the five-year-old cross-bred Staffordshire bull terrier called Alex which caused death while it was dangerously out of control.
A jury at Leeds Crown Court has heard that David Ellam, a 52-year-old keen Huddersfield Town fan, was attacked on August 15, 2016. It happened outside his home in Riddings Road and was caused by the dog which had escaped from its pen by digging underneath it.
Mr Ellam died later that night in hospital.
Prosecutor Richard Walters revealed that there had been a series of incidents in which Alex had bitten a number of people dating back to 2012 resulting in magistrates making a control order which insisted Alex be muzzled at all times in the open air, insured, kept on a lead in public places, neutered and microchipped.
None of these things happened.
Today, Tina Shaw, a dog warden who had dealt with the 2012 incident, gave evidence about the defendant’s uncooperative attitude of the defendant, who now lives in Hopkinson Road in Sheepridge.
Asked by Mr Walters about her visit on August 10 to Joseph’s home in the company of a fellow dog warden, she said he was “argumentative and dismissive.”
She added: “He was annoyed that we were persistent in our insistence that the dog was muzzled.
“He said he would not muzzle it because it rubbed her face. He was adamant that he was not going to muzzle it. He said it was not a bad dog and he didn’t see why it should be. We said the dog had to be muzzled for safety reasons. He said it was not a bad dog and he was not going to listen to what we were saying.”
Earlier the court heard how a workman, John Sykes, who attended the block of flats on March 19, 2012 to do some work froze when he “suddenly felt a sharp pain.”
In a statement read by Mr Walters he said: “It had bitten me on my left calf. I was stood there for a minute in shock before I threw some water on it (the dog).”
He said he received five puncture wounds and was treated by medics at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.”
However, the defendant’s counsel Katherine Pierpoint later queried whether in fact it had been Alex, “the daughter dog”, which caused his injury with Joseph convinced it was its mother, Cleo.
The case continues.