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Tug of love dog lands owner in court

AN ANIMAL lover was fined by a court last week for bombarding his former girlfriend with e-mails and text messages demanding that she return his pet dog.

Ralph Migano, 33, was devastated when Lucy Ashley-Jones split up with him and took his Yorkshire Terrier ‘Dave’ with her. Mr Migano sent Miss Ashley-Jones over 200 messages by text and e-mail begging her to return the dog, and even had a lawyer draw up a joint custody agreement.

But Miss Ashley-Jones, 24, refused to hand the dog over and called in the police, who subsequently charged her former boyfriend with harassment

The couple had shared a house in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset for two years until Miss Ashley-Jones walked out three months ago, taking the dog with her. Mr Migano, a record shop manager bombarded her with e-mails and texts and was stunned when police visited him and issued him with a formal caution not to harass Miss Ashley-Jones any further.

But Mr Migano could not resist sending her one last message to gain ‘closure’, asking her to at least send him a photograph of Dave.

He wrote: "I know I am breaking the law by contacting you. But hopefully you won’t hold this against me.

"I’m giving you Dave. He may be better looked after by you. I won’t contact you again after this but I live in hope that you will contact me.

"All I ask is if you could send me pictures now and again so I can see him grow.

"It’s breaking my heart writing this to you. Please look after my boy and kiss him as much as you can."


Miss Ashley-Jones, a hospital secretary, however showed little compassion and went straight to the police. Mr Migano subsequently found himself in court, charged with count of harassment. He pleaded guilty at North Avon magistrates court in Weston and was fined £60, with £40 costs.

Mr Migano’s solicitor Paul Penney commented after the case: "Nowadays, sending that [the last e-mail] to somebody breaks the law – it quite beggars belief, it’s quite astounding."

Mr Migano denied that any of his messages were threatening or abusive, but said that he was giving up any hope of seeing Dave again.

"I bought Dave, he’s registered in my name, he’s registered at the vet’s in my name, even his microchip is in my name, but the police say I have got no rights because she is with him."