https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/news ... ed-3385589
The dog, called Stanley, was saved from destruction
A postman needed hospital treatment after a Jack Russell launched itself at him and clamped its teeth onto his groin.
But the 10-year-old dog, called Stanley, has been saved from being put down after a court heard he had never attacked anyone before.
The Royal Mail postman was getting a signature for a parcel he was delivering when Stanley burst out of the front door and leapt up at his crotch and grabbed on with his teeth.
The postman, who has now been bitten three times while on duty, had to pull Stanley off after he refused to let go. He has been left with a fear of dogs and has also had “intimacy issues” because of his injuries.
At Leicester Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, Simon Astill, who had been looking after Stanley for a friend, pleaded guilty to allowing Stanley to be dangerously out of control.
The court heard the incident, on February 26, had been investigated by Leicestershire Police but they had settled the issue by having Astill, 51, write a letter of apology to the postman.
But Royal Mail, who have had about 1,500 dog attacks on their staff in the past year, launched a private prosecution.
Describing the incident, Royal Mail’s solicitor Elisabeth Evans said: “At 12.15pm a Royal Mail delivery man was delivering a parcel when he was bitten by a dog at the address.
“Mr Astill had opened an outer door to sign for the parcel but for some reason the door inside hadn’t been closed properly.
“The dog launched itself at the delivery man and bit at his groin and held on to that area.”
She said the postman had to pull the dog off his groin and he was “in considerable pain”.
After inspecting his injuries and speaking to his manager, the postman went to the hospital where he was treated with antibiotics. He returned to work the next day but spent a week on light duties.
Ms Evans said the postman had suffered psychological affects of the attack, which was the third in his 12 years as a postman.
She said: “He states he has sleepless nights and intimacy issues.
“He suffers – because of all three incidents – a fear of dogs that makes his job as a postman difficult.”
She asked the court to order Astill to pay some money towards the £5,393 it had cost Royal Mail to investigate and prosecute the case.
But Astill’s solicitor, Luke Chignell, said that would be unfair since his client had already been dealt with by Leicestershire Police, who had decided in March that the matter could be dealt with by a “community resolution” and got Astill to write a letter of apology.
He said: “It’s really unfortunate the matter is here in court at all.
“What Mr Astill did wrong was simply to leave part of his door not fully closed.”
He also said Stanley had never attacked anyone before and that his client’s only mistake had been to leave a door open.
Because of the severity of the injuries suffered, the magistrates were required by law to issue a destruction order for Stanley unless they found good reason to believe he would not attack again.
The court then heard from the dog’s owner, Russell Faulkner, of Broughton Astley, who said: “He’s just a little dog. He’s not aggressive. He’s quite old now and can be quite lazy.
“It was a very unfortunate chain of events whereby the door didn’t close properly and it has led us here.”
The court heard that Astill, of Simon's Orchard, Ashby Parva, near Lutterworth, has two dogs of his own and had been looking after Stanley – a 10-year-old rescue dog - while Mr Faulkner and his family were away.
Mr Chignell said: “This is an isolated incident. You don’t need to destroy Stanley.”
The magistrates’ said they agreed with Mr Chignell that the whole case had already been dealt with by the police and decided against punishing Astill or ordering the destruction of Stanley.
The chair of the bench of magistrates, Rose Monk, told Astill: ”This has been an unusual case and a very unfortunate situation with the injuries to the postman.
“However, what we’ve decided to do is make a conditional discharge of six months – we’re not effectively punishing you.
“We have diverted from our guidance because you had already been dealt with by the police.”
She said Astill would not have to pay anything towards prosecution costs or compensation but would have to pay a £20 victim surcharge.
The magistrates said Royal Mail could have £630 from government funds to go towards their costs.