A magistrate has urged two parties involved in an alleged dog attack case to start talking to each other.
A magistrate has urged two parties involved in an alleged dog attack case to start talking to each other.

Dog attack allegations brought by council to go to hearing

A MAGISTRATE has urged both parties in a criminal case that arose from an alleged dog attack to begin talking to each other.

Deborah Crawford, 62, from Labrador in Queensland, pleaded not guilty in February to being the owner of a dog which attacked another dog.

Byron Shire Council, the prosecuting authority, will allege Ms Crawford’s staffordshire terrier attacked a Kelpie X outside a Seastar Court, Byron Bay property about 3pm on Tuesday, October 1 last year.

The accused was not required to appear when the matter went briefly before Byron Bay Local Court on Tuesday.

But Magistrate Karen Stafford queried why no agreed facts had been filed, although she previously directed this to happen.

That document is designed to set out the circumstances the prosecution and defence won’t dispute, and is supposed to narrow the matters disputed when the case proceeds to a hearing.

“Does that mean they can’t agree on one fact?” Ms Stafford asked.

Solicitor Sally McPherson said there may have some confusion about dates, given the matter was relisted.

But Ms Stafford urged the parties to agree on some of the issues, to save the court’s time.

“Is she the owner of the dog? Is it a dog?,” she asked.

“Parties just have to start talking to each other.

“If people follow these directions they do start preparing, they do start talking to each other.”

The court heard another delay had arisen as an expert witness, required for the hearing, would be away throughout October.

In the context of the ongoing pandemic, Ms Stafford expressed surprise at this.

“I’m surprised people have anywhere to go away,” Ms Stafford said.

“Where do they go?”

She ordered an agreed set of facts to be filed by October 28.

The matter is expected to be subject to a one-day hearing on November 17.


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