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article imageAngry judge storms out of court after dog-related conviction

By Lynn Curwin     Dec 14, 2010 in Crime
Rothbury - A UK judge swore and strode angrily from the court on Tuesday, after she was convicted of failing to have her dog under control.
Judge Beatrice Bolton, 57, of Rothbury, Northumberland, called the Carlisle Crown Court ruling "a f****** travesty."
The court heard that Frederick Becker, 20, was sunbathing in his parents’ garden in May when Bolton’s seven-month-old pet German shepherd, Georgina, bit him on the leg.
Becker said the bite resulted in a bruise and a cut to his left leg. He had it checked at hospital but it did not require any treatment.
BBC News reported that Becker’s parents - David and Anne Malia - had been friends with Bolton and her partner, but their relationship deteriorated over the rights to their adjoining homes' shared back gardens and the behaviour of Bolton's pet.
They called Bolton and her partner "neighbours from hell" and said they lived "in terror" of the dog.
The Sunderland Echo reported that Ben Nolan QC said Bolton erected a fence to deal with the issue but had been asked by neighbours to take it down.
Nolan said the Malias were “intransigent and implacably opposed” to any suggestion offered to help control the situation, according to The Northumberland Gazette.
The dog has received specialist obedience training since the incident and a police dog handler has judged her not to be a dangerous dog.
Bolton was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £275 compensation to the victim, as well as £930 in court costs and a £15 surcharge.
"We take the view that this is a case which does justify a financial penalty,” The London Evening Standard quoted District Judge Gerald Chalk as saying. “Mr Becker was not only put in fear but was actually injured by the dog in question."
Judge Bolton said: "I'm absolutely devastated by this conviction,” Bolton was quoted by The London Evening Standard as saying. “I have always sought to do what was right in relation to my neighbours and was very conscious of my public position and tried very hard for it not to be said that I was abusing such a position."
The Northumberland Gazette reported that she said she would appeal against the conviction.
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