The cost of dangerous dogs

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Section 3 of the Act creates the offence of failure to control a dangerous dog, which can catch not only the owner but the person with control of the dog at the relevant time. The prison sentence can be anything up to two years in prison.  A person attacked by a dog can bring a civil claim against the owner, but very often the owner has no means to pay any kind of judgment.

There is however recourse to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. By way of example, in CICA v CICP/First-tier Tribunal and TS [2012] UKUT 444 (AAC) (19 November 2012), the victim was attacked by a dog, which had escaped from the garden where it was supposed to be confined. The victim believed that he being attacked by the dog and “instinctively” cycled into the road to avoid it. He was hit by a car and seriously injured.

The car driver was not to blame in the sense of incurring any criminal or civil liability. The dog owner could not afford to compensate TJ even if successful civil proceedings had been taken against her. The extent of TJ’s injuries was such that he was in hospital for four months. He made an application to the CICA and ended up with an award of Â£115,280.

Malcolm Johnson
Personal Injury team 

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