Genisis Pure and Kathleen Pure have been accused of being the owners of American pit bull terrier Boss and American pit bull mix Naahni involved in the July 16, 2020 attack in Christchurch.
‘I didn’t think I was going to get out of there,’ veteran security guard Jason Warden said in testimony at a judge-only trial before Christchurch District Court Judge Quentin Hix earlier. this week.
Warden was injured in the face, arms and thigh and had to spend a night in hospital after the attack.
This afternoon Judge Hix ruled that the charges against the dog owners had been established and he had no choice but to issue destruction orders.
The judge said the purpose of any destruction order was not to punish anyone but rather to protect public safety, adding that it could have been someone collecting for charity that night- the.
Before the start of the trial, Judge Hix asked if there could be a solution, but defense lawyers Richard Peters and Kiran Paima said that it was necessary to move forward because the question was whether the dogs would be destroyed.
Christchurch City Council prosecutor Penny Brown said the destruction of the dogs followed conviction on those charges unless there were exceptional circumstances.
“And this is not an exceptional case,” she said earlier.
The warden told the court earlier that he was sent to Redwood, Christchurch’s address through First Security, on instructions from the Department of Corrections to check an individual’s electronically monitored bond.
He had been there a few days before and knew there was a dog present, but had previously been guarded at the back of the house.
Upon arrival, he called his office, then spoke into a headset throughout the visit as the phone transmitted from his pocket.
He found the house in the dark. He shook the door and whistled, and heard a barking dog – recorded on his phone – but was adamant it was a dog on another property.
When he went in the dark towards the front sliding door, two dogs attacked him, biting his thigh and arm, scratching or biting his face and smashing his glasses.
The recording continued as he thrashed and kicked, and yelled at the attacking dogs as he came back through the door. He had to have stitches and spent the night in the hospital.
It was dark in the yard but he was sure two dogs had attacked him.
“One is attached to my leg and the other to my arm. There are two dogs,” he heard on the recording.
The court heard evidence that the officer was mistakenly sent to the address at the request of the Department of Corrections because the ‘subject’ of the visit was in Auckland where he had previously had a monitoring bracelet fitted the day before.
The trial heard the dogs had already been classified as dangerous after an attack on a police officer in December 2019.
Kathleen Pure made a statement saying there was a gate separating the back from the front of the property.
It was secured with a rock and a nail, but Boss dog was able to open it to access a bowl of cat food on the foredeck.
She said: “I love my dogs. I’ve had them for eight years. I just don’t want to lose them. I take full responsibility for what happened.”
In evidence, she said that Boss managed to get through a previous door, which was replaced.
Until the incident, she didn’t believe dogs could get through the new gate at the front of the property.
The security guard said he was hit hard by the attack.
“I couldn’t sleep for quite a while – I had a lot of nightmares. The wounds have healed, but I have a scar on my nose,” he said.
Both dogs were classified as dangerous in 2019 and work has been carried out on the property to ensure they remain confined.
The central issue of the case hung around a gate to the property.
Defense attorneys said the Pures had taken “all reasonable steps” to secure the gate and that no fault lay with them.
But Judge Hix disagreed, saying all the charges had been established.
There were few legal precedents where dogs avoided destruction, the court said.
No fine was imposed.
-By Kurt Bayer