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Last Updated: Friday, 15 October, 2004, 16:24 GMT 17:24 UK
Dog's death order is overturned
Dino
Dino bit another dog and its owner in a Northampton park
A man's three-and-a-half year battle to save his dog's life ended in victory on Friday when a judge ordered a reprieve for Dino the German shepherd.

The appeal at Northampton Crown Court was the last chance for Dino's owner Bryan Lamont to have a destruction order, made by magistrates, overturned.

Mr Lamont, from Northampton, has been fighting for the dog's life ever since Dino bit a dog owner in 2001.

On Friday, a judge ruled Dino was not a public threat and lifted the order.

Mr Lamont, who moved house to help pay for the legal costs, said he was "absolutely delighted" with the result and had immediately phoned his wife Carol, who was at home with Dino, to tell her the news.

Magistrates ordered Dino's destruction after the German shepherd attacked another dog and bit its female owner as she tried to separate them.

A dog will have his day said the Bard and Mr Lamont's devotion has allowed Dino to have his day
Judge Patrick Eccles QC
The Lamonts paid a fine imposed by the magistrates, but challenged the destruction order at crown court, the High Court, the House of Lords and the European Court of Human Rights - spending an estimated 60,000.

The Criminal Cases Review Commission eventually ordered a new crown court appeal after fresh evidence suggested Dino was not a risk to the public.

After hearing the appeal, Judge Patrick Eccles QC lifted the destruction order and praised Mr Lamont's tenacity for saving the life of his best friend.

"A dog will have his day said the Bard and Mr Lamont's devotion has allowed Dino to have his day," he said.

The appeal heard evidence from animal experts who said Dino, who has to wear a muzzle in public from now on, was well-behaved for a German shepherd.

Natural life

Mr Lamont had always claimed the incident was a one-off.

"If we ever thought the dog represented any danger we would never have gone where we have gone," he said.

"He is a family pet and I couldn't have lived with myself if I hadn't done anything."

He added: "It has been extremely tough. We had to move house in the interim to release some funds.

"It was certainly worth it. My wife and kids can sleep in peace tonight. We have got him until the end of his natural life."


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See the dog whose days are no longer numbered



SEE ALSO:
Family pet fighting destruction
14 Sep 04  |  Northamptonshire
Family dog on death row
12 Nov 01  |  England


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