Biting dog injured couple in North Pickenham

The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane. ENGANL00120120910143711
The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane. ENGANL00120120910143711

Paul Balaam, 51 and of no fixed abode, was in his caravan in the village when his dog, a West Highland Terrier, escaped and injured husband and wife Michael and Louise Florence.

Balaam pleaded guilty to the charge of being the owner in charge of adog dangerously out of control causing injury at Lynn’s Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

District judge Nicholas Watson was told that Balaam had been in his caravan when his dog had rushed outside after hearing noise there, and the defendant did not realise his pet had gone.

The court heard that the dog bit both Mr and Mrs Florence whilst they were outside Green View.

Fergus Harold, prosecuting, said that both parties were injured seriously, but more so Mr Florence, who was diabetic, meaning that the wound had not healed well, and was still regularly visiting his GP for the injury.

Charlotte Winchester, mitigating, said that as soon as the defendant realised that his dog had gone, he called her back and she returned immediately.

The court was told that the dog had previously bit Balaam’s partner, but that this had not been serious and was only a nip.

Ms Winchester said that her client had been seen by probation before and was currently carrying out a community order with them, and thus she recommended ordering him to pay compensation instead of completing a second community order.

The judge was told that the defendant was remorseful and that he was shocked by what his dog had done to the victims.

“He kept saying to me ‘I can’t believe she has done this’ – he must have said that to me about four or five times,” Ms Winchester added.

Mr Watson ordered Balaam to pay Mr and Mrs Florence £300 and £100 in compensation respectively, and said that his dog Rosie was not to be allowed in public without a muzzle, a collar and a lead.

The judge said that, as part of the order, if the dog was seen in public without these conditions in place, a court could order the destruction of it.

Balaam was told that he would not be ordered to pay the costs of the trial.