Experience and testimonials

18 January 2013 No Comments

Since offering a consultancy in expert witness services David has assessed and examined the behaviour of a wide variety of breeds and types of dogs in wide variety of circumstances, and provided expert opinion in a range of civil and criminal cases:

Civil actions (both plaintiff and defendant)

  • Actions for damages for personal injury and loss (Animals Act 1971)
  • Actions against employers breaching their duty of care relating to the management of keeping dogs.
  • Actions on behalf of plaintiffs (including police officers) bitten by police dogs.
  • Actions against dog trainers by pet owners.

Criminal cases

  • Murder
  • Arson
  • Assaults under the Offences Against the Person Act (personal and affray)
  • Cases in which it is alleged that a dog has been used as a weapon.
  • Cases relying on the evidence of police dog and handler teams (tracking, weapons search, forensic evidence search dogs).
  • Cases in which the defendant has been detained (bitten) by a police dog.
  • Identification of dogs alleged to be of the Pit Bull Terrier type (Sec 1 Dangerous Dogs Act 1991) and assessment of their behaviour to establish their suitability for a contingent destruction order (Sec 4(A) DDA) for both defence and prosecution.
  • Examination of the behaviour of dogs alleged to be dangerously out of control (Sec 3 DDA) and with regard to their suitability for a contingent destruction order, for both defence and prosecution.
  • Appeals against destruction orders for allegedly dangerous dogs.

Notably:

Central Criminal Court trial in which it was alleged that a pit bull terrier type dog had been used as a weapon to assist in murder. After assessing the dog, examining the evidence and submitting a report on its behaviour, defence Counsel were able to successfully submit that the dog was not directed by the defendant.

Edinburgh High Court murder trial in which the evidence of a police tracking dog and handler team was not used following examination of their evidence and submission of a report by the defence.

Central Criminal Court in a murder trial the interpretation of evidence submitted by a police weapons search dog handler in relation to firearms alleged to have been linked to a particular person was called into question.

Claim for damages where the claimant, an employee of a kennels for abandoned animals, sustained severe injuries whilst attempting to intervene in a fight between two dogs. Whilst the employer denied liability, examination of the evidence revealed that the injury could have been avoided if adequate procedures had been in place, resulting in a speedy settlement of the claim.

Several instances of family pets alleged to be dangerous by virtue of their type or their behaviour returned to their owners.

In 2012 David prepared thirty case reports in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and attended Court on only three occasions. These are some of the comments received from instructing solicitors:

Many thanks for your assistance, I’m glad to inform you that we will not require you to give evidence. Your report has been incredibly useful in cross examining the Crown’s witnesses. (Murder trial – evidence of police weapons search dog)

A senior prosecutor has read your report and in light of the same, concluded that they cannot win the trial. Consequently the case against XXX has been dropped… Great result – thank you again for all of your assistance. (Alleged S1 Pit Bull Terrier ‘type’ dangerous dog)

I am pleased to be able to report that my office received an official notice of discontinuance from the Crown… Accordingly there will now be no trial. I am under no illusion that the Prosecution’s decision was based substantially on your most professional report and I have no hesitation in asking my office to enter your name into our register of approved experts. (Theft trial where the two accused had been subject to remand in custody on the strength of police dog tracking evidence)

May I say that I am very impressed with the speed and thoroughness with which you have carried out your examinations and prepared your reports. Thank you very much and I shall certainly recommend you to any colleague who may need a similar report. (Two Pit Bull Terrier ‘type’ dogs subject to contingent destruction orders)

May we take this opportunity of thanking you for your assistance in relation to this case and if we require your assistance in future then we will of course be in contact. (Defendant accused of cruelty under the Animal Welfare Act)

This case had many novel features, not least the issue of the dogs and we are pleased to have been able to instruct you in this matter. We are very grateful for all your help and co-operation and look forward to being able to instruct you in the future. (Murder trial, police dog tracking evidence)

I take this opportunity to thank you for a most comprehensive and detailed report, in which I was most impressed, and my client also praised you in your execution of your report. This report has aided my client’s case significantly and it will certainly help her to win her case. (Employee alleging negligence when severely bitten by a dog in the course of her employment).

Service of the report has prompted the other side to put forward an offer… I am pleased to report that a settlement has been reached. Many thanks for your assistance. (Plaintiff bitten by dog, claim under terms of the Animals Act 1971)

Thank you for your magnificent efforts in helping us achieve such a favourable outcome. Many thanks once again for your assistance and I look forward to working with you again in the future. (Appeal against destruction order Sec 3 Dangerous Dogs Act)

I am pleased to confirm that the charge against Mr XXXX has now been discontinued and the trial cancelled. Thank you for all of your help in this matter. (Report challenging the ‘type’ of a cross-bred dog wrongly identified as a Pit Bull Terrier accepted by the prosecution).

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