Friday 18 August 2017

Killer dogs that mauled terrier to death given stay of execution as owner launches appeal

Paul Bourke who resides at Thornton, Kilsallaghan, pictured outside Swords Courthouse. Pic Frank Mc Grath
Paul Bourke who resides at Thornton, Kilsallaghan, pictured outside Swords Courthouse. Pic Frank Mc Grath

Nicola Donnelly

A MAN whose dogs mauled a neighbour's pet to death - the day before he was due to be forced out of the home he was renting from them - has been accused of "playing ducks and drakes" with a court.

Paul Bourke, of Thornton, Kilsallaghan, Co Dublin, was ordered on Monday by Swords District Court to have his two German Shepherd dogs "destroyed within five days".

Judge Dermot Dempsey ruled that the dogs had killed Molly, the West Highland Terrier belonging to Andrea Sheridan, after Mr Bourke's father, John, let the dogs out of their pens and enclosed area.

However, Mr Bourke's counsel, Bernard Stobie, yesterday sought a stay on the order until an appeal had been dealt with in a different court. Mr Stobie said: "There is a right of appeal there and the court should allow my client to appeal the judgement.

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"In the event of no stay on the order then an appeal cannot be lodged."

Dogs at the house where Paul Bourke resides at Thornton, Kilsallaghan. Pic Frank Mc Grath
30/11/16
Dogs at the house where Paul Bourke resides at Thornton, Kilsallaghan. Pic Frank Mc Grath 30/11/16

Ms Sheridan's solicitor, David Stafford, said: "He (Mr Bourke) knows the dogs have to be put down and coming in at this late stage is a little bit rich. I am asking not to allow leave to appeal."

He said a higher court would be faced with the same facts and would also rule in favour of Ms Sheridan. Mr Stafford said Mr Bourke was "playing ducks and drakes with the court" and was "causing more stress to my client".

Judge Dempsey agreed with Mr Stafford's arguments but said "my hands are tied".

He fixed recognisances for an appeal to be lodged and granted a stay of seven days on the original order made that the dogs be destroyed within five days. "Seven days stay is the maximum I will grant," said Judge Dempsey.

Mr Bourke was issued with a Determination Order from the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) on June 21 giving him 90 days to leave the home, which he rented from the mother of Ms Sheridan's partner after he was served with notice to terminate the property last year.

As part of the PRTB order, Mr Bourke was ordered to pay €750 for breaching the tenancies act and any further rent outstanding since June 1.

On September 20, the day before Mr Bourke was due to be forced from the rented home, his father, John, of Oak Lawn, Royal Oak, Santry, let his son's German Shepherds out of their pen.

Two of them ran into Ms Sheridan's garden and attacked her Labrador Torres and "pulled Molly apart, viciously mauling her to death" in front of Ms Sheridan.

Both men had denied it was Mr Bourke's German Shepherds, who are kept for breeding.

Judge Dempsey had accepted Ms Sheridan's version of events and described the defendant's evidence as totally unreliable.

"It's more than a coincidence, it was a malicious act, the day before Mr Bourke was ordered to move from the house by the PRTB decision," he said.

When approached after the hearing, Mr Bourke would not say what he would do about his dogs or why he lodged an appeal against the court order.

Nor would he say why he is putting Ms Sheridan through more stress, why he hasn't paid his rent since June, and why he hasn't left the rented premises after the PRTB ruled him to vacate it.

Herald

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