Failing to pick up dog mess costs owner more than £200

Seaside Lane, Easington Colliery. Picture from Google Images
Seaside Lane, Easington Colliery. Picture from Google Images

Failing to pick up after her pet left an East Durham dog owner more than £200 worse off and with a criminal conviction.

Carly Lamb was prosecuted by Durham County Council through its new dog control Public Space Protection Order (PSPO).

Lamb, 19, of Station Road, Easington Colliery was walking her Staffordshire Bull Terrier in Seaside Lane on the afternoon of October 6 last year.

A council neighbourhood warden on patrol in the area observed the dog fouling on the pavement and Lamb failing to pick up the mess.

She was served with a fixed penalty notice under the council’s PSPO, introduced last June, under which it is an offence to allow a dog to foul without picking it up.

The notice was for £100 and would have been reduced to £60 if paid within working ten days.

However Lamb failed to pay and so was prosecuted by the council.

She pleaded guilty by letter to contravening the PSPO by failing to pick up after her dog.

At Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court on Wednesday, the letter was read out detailing how she was very sorry for her actions and that she normally carried bags to pick up after her pet but

did not have one on the occasion in question.

Magistrates fined her £100, ordered her to pay legal costs of £130 and a victim surcharge of £30.

Ian Hoult, the council’s neighbourhood protection manager, said: "Dog fouling is an unpleasant stain on the environment and poses a health hazard, particularly in relation to children and areas where they play.

"It is so easy to take bags out when walking your dog so you can pick up after it. While the overwhelming majority of people do, some as in this case do not and we will continue to take action through our PSPO to send out the message that we will not tolerate irresponsible dog ownership.

This case should also serve as a lesson of what will happen if you get a fixed penalty notice and don’t pay it."

Under the PSPO, it is also an offence to allow a dog to stray, fail to put a dog on a lead when asked to do so by an authorised person and allow a dog in a designated fenced off

fixed play area.

The £100 fixed penalty notices are issued for all breaches with courts able to issue fines of up to £1,000 to those who do not pay.

More information about the order is available at www.durham.gov.uk/dogcontrol