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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

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Woman whose dog fouled play park must pay £1,700 after losing appeal

A woman who allowed her dog to foul in a popular play park has been ordered to pay almost £1,700 after a six-month court battle.

Lisa Maxwell, 28, of Meadow View, Harraby, Carlisle, was found guilty of failing to remove her dog’s faeces from a field at the back of Edgehill Road Community Centre in February, but challenged the conviction last month.

The area contains play equipment and is regularly used by children.

She was originally fined £200 plus £85 costs but, after an appeal hearing at Carlisle Crown Court, Maxwell, who is also known as Lisa Thompson, was ordered to pay £1,396 in costs plus the original fine and costs.

Both the Carlisle City Council’s clean neighbourhood and environment officers involved in the original prosecution attended court to give evidence. Maxwell, who was unrepresented, was given the opportunity to cross-examine the officers.

After retiring for a short time, Judge Barbara Forrester said that magistrates dismissed the appeal and would neither either reduce nor increase the sentence imposed by the lower court.

The case has prompted a renewed warning from the city council that it will continue its tough stance against dog owners who fail to clean up after their pets.

Deputy leader Elsie Martlew said: “Dog fouling is unsightly, unpleasant and can pose a risk to human health.

“While the majority of owners behave responsibly and pick up after their dogs, we are keen to tackle the problem of dog mess left by a minority of irresponsible dog owners.”

The Cumberland News has been unable to contact Maxwell for comment.

The council reminded dog owners they should take waste bags with them on walks, pick any mess up straight away and place in a bin. It is also encouraging people to look after their areas as part of their Love Where You Live campaign.

The campaign hopes to fund clean-up projects and educate people on how to look after their local areas.

Upon its launch in August 2012, the city council said it was taking an “education rather than prosecution” approach but would not hesitate to fine offenders.

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