Dog fouling fine for owner ‘distracted’ on phone

265 days ago

A Llanelli man who was so distracted on a phone call that he didn’t notice his dog fouling will pay more than £370 after failing to immediately clear up the mess.

Lee Evans, of Dillwyn Street, Llanelli, was prosecuted by Carmarthenshire County Council after two enforcement officers saw him walking his dog along a lane leading to the rear of Graig Avenue and Caswell Street, Llanelli, in July last year.

Halfway up the lane, the dog stopped and defecated, however the 53-year-old had continued walking whilst talking on his phone, unaware that his dog had fouled.

When the officers approached him, Evans said he didn’t realise his dog had stopped to defecate, and on inspection of the faeces claimed it was a cat’s and not his dog’s.

He did, however, pick up the faeces and accepted a £100 fixed penalty notice (FPN).

In August, he attempted to appeal the FPN but was advised it would not be revoked.

By October, the authority had not received payment and advised Evans that the matter was being referred to the authority’s legal services department.

The offence, contrary to Carmarthenshire County Council’s (Dog Control) Public Spaces Protection Order 2016, was considered by Llanelli Magistrates on Friday, February 15, 2019.

Evans entered a guilty plea by post, stating in his defence that he hadn’t realised his dog had defecated because he was distracted, that he always carries bags with him, and that he picked up the faeces when it was pointed out by the officers.

He also explained that his health issues and a close family bereavement had contributed to his failure to pay the FPN.

He was fined £100, with £240.24 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

Cllr Philip Hughes, Executive Board Member for enforcement, said: “Unfortunately, distraction is no excuse for failing to clear up after your dog. Whilst your dog is in your care, you must ensure that you act as a responsible owner and clear up any mess that they make.”