Jury takes 39 minutes to convict man of owning dangerous dog that killed his neighbour
A dog owner whose pet killed another man has been found guilty of owning a dangerously out of control dog.
The jury at Leeds Crown Court took just 39 minutes to unanimously convict Aaron Joseph following a trial.
Joseph, 30, is the owner of Alex, a mongrel bull terrier that attacked and killed Joseph’s neighbour David Ellam outside their homes in Sheepridge, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, in 2016.
Alex attacked Mr Ellam, a dog walker who protected his own pet during the incident, a week after police returned the dog to Joseph having seized it.
Summing up the evidence, Judge Sally Cahill QC described how another neighbour, Naomi Russell, witnessed the attack on August 15.
She looked out of her bedroom window and ‘once she saw the dog get hold of him she did not see it let go’.
Mr Ellam, a popular Huddersfield Town fan who worked as a lollipop man, was shouting for help, saying things such as ‘somebody help me for fuck’s sake’ and ‘I can’t take any more of this’.
Meanwhile, the dog was ‘snarling, growling and shaking its head from side to side like it was trying to sever the leg’.
The victim was trying to protect his own dog, Yorkshire terrier Rolo, who he had left the house to take for a walk on the morning of the attack.
A man even threw a knife nearby and told Mr Ellam, 52, to stab Alex, but he said he could not.
The court had also heard that the dog had bitten and scratched other neighbours in the past.
Katherine Pierpoint, defending, said that Alex was sometimes ‘overexcited and upset his neighbours’, but no one left the scene of those incidents ‘screaming blue murder saying ‘you’ve got to do something about this dog’.’
Joseph, of Hopkinson Road in Sheepridge, was remanded in custody ahead of his sentencing on Tuesday.