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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 January 2008, 14:26 GMT
Dog attack convictions overturned
A dog owner whose pet bit three people has had his convictions relating to the attacks quashed.

Michael Bogdal's German Shepherd attacked three visitors on a shared driveway in Hull in 2005.

Mr Bogdal, 59, was given a six month suspended jail sentence at Hull Crown Court for three offences under the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act.

But the Court of Appeal ruled that the driveway was not a public place, and overturned the convictions.

Care home

The dog bit three people on the driveway between a property owned by Mr Bogdal and occupied by his elderly mother, and Sycamore House, a private care home for the elderly.

The issue before Lady Justice Smith, Mr Justice Underhill and Sir Christopher Holland was whether the location where the incidents occurred was a "public place" within the meaning of the 1991 Act.

Mr Justice Underhill said they appreciated that by overturning the convictions, users of shared access paths or roads would not have the protection of the provisions of the 1991 Act.

But he said: "Parliament chose, for reasons that we can understand, to limit the effects of the Act to cases where dogs are let out of control in a 'public place'... even though, as the facts of the present case show, dangerous dogs may also be a menace in private places."

Mr Justice Underhill encouraged Mr Bogdal to ensure there was no repetition of the incidents.

He added: "The fact that that driveway is not a public place does not mean that they may not incur civil liabilities arising out of its behaviour or get into trouble with the law in other ways than under the 1991 Act."

Mr Bogdal, of Grassdale Park, Brough, near Hull, who runs a care home, represented himself during court proceedings.

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