The Crown Office has been slammed for failing to prosecute a dangerous dog case in which a man was bitten several times in Arbroath.
Alex Mackenzie, 28, was walking his mother’s cocker spaniel with his partner when they were approached by the huskie-type dog which was off the lead in the Eastern Ceremony last March.
When the huskie growled and then lunged at the cocker spaniel, Alex grabbed it by its collar, which then caused the large dog to turn on him.
It jumped at Alex’s face and bit him on the leg and arm, ripping his clothing and causing wounds so deep he required stitches.
When The Courier reported the incident at the time, 6ft 4ins Alex said that the dog would have easily overpowered a woman or child.
The incident was reported to police but Alex was subsequently told the case had been dropped due to a lack of evidence.
Outraged that no action had been taken against the animal or its owner, Alex’s sister Laura Robertson made a Victim Right to Review Application to the Crown Office asking why no action had been taken.
Laura said: “The attack on my brother was violent and unprovoked and happened in a public place. The dog is, by anyone’s standards, out of control. The dog is large, wolf like and very heavy.
“My brother struggled to stay upright during the attack and had it been myself or my mother walking our dog, we would have been unable to defend ourselves against the attack in any way, resulting in the dog potentially killing or maiming us and/or the dogs with us.”
The reply from the Crown Office said that after “careful consideration” the prosecutor decided no action would be taken as there was “insufficient admissible evidence”.
It said that for a conviction under the Dangerous Dogs Act there had to be a previous indication that the dog would have acted in this way.
It added: “The law states that in order to prove this charge there must have been a reasonable apprehension that the dog would injure a person.
“The prosecutor considering the case instructed the police to carry out further enquiry to try to establish whether evidence of this reasonable apprehension existed.
“The police have made efforts to trace another alleged victim of this dog. Unfortunately these efforts have been unsuccessful.
“I am satisfied that the decision not to take action in this case was reasonable and properly reflected the evidence available. The decision taken by the prosecutor will therefore not be changed at this time.”
The letter added that the local dog warden had been made aware of the incident.
Laura said she was “frustrated” by the Crown Office’s response and said it meant that nothing had been done about the dangerous dog.
She added: “This careless lack of action is exactly the reason tragic incidents involving mauled children and dogs take place.
“It is entirely unjust that responsible dog owners and the general public should live in fear of those intent on owning uncontrolled potential ticking timebombs.
“The attitude of the justice system in Scotland appears to be one of turning a blind eye and I for one am furious that nothing further has been done about this case.
“It is not a question of if this dog attacks again, it is when.”