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Owner of killer dog will face trial

A dog owner whose boxer killed one dog and seriously injured another is to stand trial following a successful appeal by prosecutors.

Last June, charges against John Tomlinson were thrown out of court after his lawyer Saul Dismont argued the case had been brought to court after the six-month time limit, a stipulation under the Criminal Code Act.

At that hearing Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo concluded that the case was “out of time”, dismissed the matter and discharged the defendant

However, prosecutors appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court where Chief Justice Ian Kawaley overturned Magistrate Tokunbo's ruling and ordered that Mr Tomlinson stand trial.

During the appeal hearing, prosecutors claimed that the case against Mr Tomlinson was sworn well within the six-month period provided by section 452 of the Criminal Code, but he did not appear in court until well after the six-month period.

In his ruling published last week, the Chief Justice said: “I am satisfied that the orthodox view of section 452 of the Criminal Code is the correct one and that a prosecution for a summary offence commences when the information is sworn before the magistrate.

“And, accordingly, the Learned Magistrate in this case erred in law in concluding that the charge was time-barred.”

Mr Tomlinson owned three boxers that were able to get on to Amy Ponnampalam's Smith's property in November 2014 because the electric fencing on his property was not functioning. One of his two male boxers is believed to be responsible for carrying out the fatal attack.

Ms Ponnampalam was at work when she received a call from Endsmeet Animal Hospital informing her of the incident.

A neighbour saw the boxer mauling the second dog and shooed it away, but arrived on the scene too late to save the other.

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Published February 26, 2016 at 8:00 am (Updated February 26, 2016 at 7:14 am)

Owner of killer dog will face trial

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