Dog owner sentenced after pets savage stepson

Last updated 08:20 19/07/2014

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Owners of potentially dangerous dogs have an obligation to ensure people's safety, a Christchurch judge says.

District Court Judge Raoul Neave yesterday sentenced Ralph Sparks to 250 hours' community work after Sparks' two rottweilers attacked his stepson.

The judge said the sentence "will be sufficient to meet the needs of the case to send the appropriate message about the need for caution".

Sparks, 44, had admitted a charge under the Dog Control Act of owning the dogs that injured the boy in September last year. The family agreed to both dogs being euthanised immediately after the incident.

Judge Neave said the two unregistered rottweilers had previously rushed at people but had never bitten anyone. The boy had taken them for a walk at a park near the family's home in Bromley, as he had done on other occasions, the court heard, but for some reason they turned on him and attacked him. He had puncture wounds to a thigh and cuts to his scalp and face.

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