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Local man fined over £1,300 under dog fouling and microchip laws

A local man has been found guilty of several dog-related offences at Liverpool Magistrates Court, with fines incurred totalling £1,367.36.

53 year-old Nigel Blackstock of Leighton Drive, Sutton, St Helens, was observed walking his Beagle in Taylor Park on 23 March, when the dog fouled unnoticed by the owner. Mr Blackstock walked away and was challenged by St Helens Council’s Dog Welfare and Enforcement supervisor.

Mr Blackstock denied his dog had fouled, though did return to the rear of the lake and remove the faeces.

The dog was also not wearing a collar and identity tag, and did not have a microchip – offences under established dog legislation. The owner was informed he would receive a £80 Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) for the fouling offence, but attempted to provide false details to the officer to evade the fine.

The benefit of the FPN was withdrawn after the aggravating feature of providing false details came to light. The matters were put before the Magistrates Court by legal executive Jonathan Ball of Liverpool City Council.

Mr Blackstock was found guilty of all offences, incurring fines of £198 for not displaying a collar and identity tag on the dog, £250 for providing false details to an authorised officer and a further £250 for the original dog fouling offence. He was also ordered to pay £30 victim surcharge and costs of £639.36.

Councillor Terry Shields, Cabinet Member for Green, Smart and Sustainable Borough, said: “This man tried his utmost to deny responsibility for his dog’s actions and his own. He sought to excuse himself by insisting the dog had not fouled and then evade penalties by lying to our enforcement officer. We will use every means at our disposal to identify such offenders and bring them to book. We have some of the best parks and open spaces in Merseyside and we want to keep them that way for everyone to enjoy.”

St Helens Council has partnered with Dogs Trust to bring free microchipping, free nail clipping and free pet health checks to the borough, with an event on Wednesday 29 November, 11am-3pm at Derbyshire Hill Family Centre, Parr, WA9 2LU. Come along for these free services and general advice on your dog’s health.

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