Craigie dog owner denies pet was vicious

Albert was put down.
Albert was put down.

A MAN who was convicted in court as the owner of a dog that attacked two people remains firm in his belief that his former pet was unfairly portrayed as vicious.

Antonio Cicchino faced Joondalup Magistrates Court in May over a dog attack causing physical injury relating to his kelpie cross bull arab Albert, aged little more than a year old.

Mr Cicchino was fined $6000 and ordered to pay court costs of more than $10,500.

He had initially pleaded not guilty but said he reluctantly pleaded guilty on the day of his trial on the advice of his lawyer.

City of Wanneroo prosecutor Sam De Vita told Magistrate Edward de Vries that the dog attacked a tow truck driver in the yard of Mr Cicchino’s Wangara business and then a woman who was walking past the yard on February 21 last year.

He said the woman was treated in hospital after the dog “shook her arm violently”.

Both victims declined to comment after the court hearing.

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Mr Cicchino disagreed with the prosecutor’s version of events, claiming the tow truck driver had let himself in the yard when he was told to wait outside.

He did not consider it accurate to say the dog shook the woman’s arm violently, as “it wasn’t a vicious attack at all”.

He said he was not trying to be “blase” about it.

“I wrapped the guy’s hand up, I wrapped the lady’s arm up, I called the ambulance… it wasn’t me trying to shy away from it,” he said.

In court, Mr de Vries told Mr Cicchino he was in “total denial” if he thought Albert was a friendly dog.

Mr Cicchino considered it an unfair remark and was adamant his pet was not vicious.’

“He was my dog I had with my kids… he was a friendly dog, I wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t the case. I did not get a chance to give my story,” he said.

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Mr Cicchino opted to have Albert put down after the animal bit the ankle of a 16-year-old boy who was riding a bike in Craigie in what Mr Cicchino considered a minor incident that did not go before the courts.

He said he spoke to the teenager that day and he “was all cool with it” but his mother took it further.

“That’s why I said to the (Joondalup) council ‘I don’t want to have any more trouble with anything, the best thing to do is to put him down’,” he said.

“He is missed and always remembered as his ashes sit on my bedside.”