THE life of a young man’s dog has been spared after the American Staffordshire terrier caused “severe” injuries to a 73-year-old woman in a Sinagra attack earlier this year.
In Joondalup Magistrates Court this morning, Magistrate Michelle Pontifex ordered the canine be destroyed but remitted the punishment meaning the animal was given a second chance.
It will be put down if it attacks again.
Ms Pontifex fined the dog’s owner Mitchell Seth (26) $3000 over the attack, $900 for not securing the dog properly and $200 for not registering the animal.
The maximum penalty he could have received for the attack was $10,000.
Seth’s defence lawyer said his client was “extremely remorseful and devastated” over the injury caused to the woman.
City of Wanneroo prosecutor Sam De Vita told the court the dog escaped the front of Seth’s home and bit his neighbour on the forearm as she was walking past about 9.30am on May 28.
“The complainant suffered severe injuries in the attack,” he said.
The injury to the woman’s arm required plastic surgery at Joondalup Health Campus.
Seth’s defence lawyer said his client never imagined the staffy would attack a person.
Seth had been distracted at home when the dog escaped.
He was not aware his pet had attacked his neighbour until the next day.
The animal was unregistered because Seth thought it had already been registered when an ex-girlfriend gave it to him as a gift.
Ms Pontifex made it clear the court did not consider Seth a bad person.
But she said the “very significant consequences” of the attack were towards the higher end in terms of severity.
“If the dog had been controlled… it’s unlikely it would have occurred,” she said.
She ordered multiple strict conditions be placed on the animal, including having it registered as a dangerous dog and keeping it in an enclosed area at the property at all times.
He was ordered to pay more than $2000 in costs.