Dog owner must pay up £100 after his pet fouls Nelson playing fields

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A MAN from Nelson has been taken to court for allowing his dog to foul on Hodge House playing fields in the town.

Martin Lewis, of Lonsdale Street, denied the offence in Reedley Magistrates’ Court.

One of Pendle Council’s Environmental Crime Officers witnessed 51-year-old Lewis allowing his dog to foul on the playing fields last October.

He followed Lewis to his home, then in Alpha Street, and challenged him.

Lewis claimed he was unable to pick up the fouling as his dog had diarrhoea, but was still issued with a fixed penalty notice, carrying a fine of £75.

He did not pay this and by the time he was taken to court last week had changed his story, claiming his dog never fouled on the playing fields.

But the magistrate believed the evidence given by the council and found Lewis guilty of the dog fouling offence.

However he was not fined because of financial circumstances relating to previous fines and his benefits.

Instead the court imposed a six-month conditional discharge and ordered him to pay £100 prosecution costs at £5 a week.

Pervez Akhtar, Environmental Crime Officer at Pendle Council, said: “Through not taking responsibility for his pet, Martin Lewis has ended up having to pay more than the fine he was originally issued with.

“The magistrate recognised he was trying to make excuses for his behaviour and get out of clearing up after his dog.

“But in Pendle we don’t tolerate the minority of dog owners who behave irresponsibly by allowing their dogs to foul.

“They give dog owners a bad name, make the streets look a mess and the fouling poses a health risk to humans and dogs alike.”

This prosecution came after the Environmental Crime Team stepped up patrols around Hodge House after receiving complaints from residents and councillors.