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Condemned dog’s appeal lodged

AN APPEAL against a destruction order handed on a Bull terrier that bit a child in self-defence was formally lodged last week, prior to the screening of a television documentary featuring the dog’s case.

‘Rickson’, owned by Elizabeth Holland, has been languishing in solitary confinement at Liverpool City Kennels since being seized by police in March 2001. Until August of this year, Mrs Wheeler was consistently refused permission to visit him by the police officer in charge of the case, WPC Wheeler.

However, after intervention from the Fury Defence Fund – which has assisted Mrs Holland in this case – a senior police officer, Inspector Bacon overrode PC Wheeler’s edict and granted permission for Mrs Holland to visit Rickson at the city kennels.

New evidence relating to Rickson’s case has been gathered, including an in-depth report by Animal Behaviourist Dr Roger Mugford on Rickson’s temperament. Although leave to appeal to the House of Lords was refused, leave to appeal to Liverpool Crown Court was authorised and the appeal was duly lodged last week.

Other key evidence relates to Mrs Holland’s health allegedly caused by the stress of the dog’s seizure, together with several points of order relating to the alleged mishandling of the case by the police during the initial stages of interviewing Mrs Holland and gathering evidence.

FDF official Janet Payne told OUR DOGS this week: "We are hopeful that the court will take note of the new evidence we have presented and will see fit to release Rickson. We have also compiled a full dossier on this whole case and will be referring this to the Criminal Cases Review Commission, who have been very helpful since we made contact with them.

"Of course it would be wrong to get Elizabeth’s hopes up too much at this stage, but we are hopeful that justice will eventually be done."

* Rickson’s case forms part of the TV Documentary ‘Pet Hates’, which was due to be screened on Thursday of this week (7th November) at 9pm on BBC1.