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14/1/02
Lords consider Dino appeal

THE LATEST chapter in the ongoing saga to save the life of GSD 'Dino', sentenced to death under the Dangerous Dogs Act for biting the owner of another dog which had attacked Dino, took place just after Christmas when solicitor Trevor Cooper lodged papers for an appeal at the House of Lords, writes Nick Mays.

Mr Cooper had made two appeals to the High Court in London, challenging the veracity of the original sentence in relation to the DDA Amendment Act 1997. The justices agreed that there were salient points of law, and gave leave to appeal to the House of Lords for a final ruling on the case.

Mr Cooper lodged full particulars of the case, together with 40 other similar cases for comparison with the House of Lords Appeals Committee. The committee will now consider the merits of the case with a view to the case being considered by judges within the Lords - the highest court in the land.

Trevor Cooper told OUR DOGS this week: "The Committee has asked for several additional case notes and paperwork, so they are obviously scrutinising the matter very carefully. Essentially, there are three options open to the Committee after they finish their deliberations.

They can grant us leave to appeal to the Lords, which is obviously our best option. Alternatively the Committee might not be unanimous in their agreement on the merits of the case, so they will call for an oral hearing to determine the matter.

"The worst case scenario is that they will refuse us leave to appeal to the Lords, in which case we will appeal the case to the European Courts under the Human Rights laws. Part of our submission to the Lords does, in fact, hinge on the fact that the Lamont's human rights have been infringed by the way this case has been dealt with through the courts. "So we do have a further line of defence, and the important thing is it buys Dino more time."

The Appeals Committee is expected to make a decision sometime within the next eight weeks. OUR DOGS will continue to publish any updates as soon as there are further developments.