Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Look before you woof

Sunita Vedhara looked out of her kitchen window. She often stood there admiring the view from her house in Newcastle, UK but today she was busy watching her two dogs. The two labradors, Ruby and Princess were in the garden, jumping up at the railing and barking at something on the other side.

'Karan, what are the dogs doing?'

No reply.

Sunita stopped to check the time - 9.30 p.m.

And went outside. As she stepped off the porch, she saw a young man on the other side of the fence. Growling and barking at her dogs.

That was strange enough but the next instant two police officers came up behind the lad and handcuffed him.

Sunita was nonplussed.

'Excuse me officers. Why are you arresting him?'

'A public order offence, ma'am. Barking at your dogs'


(The above story is a fictionalised account of this news item)

Kyle Little, 19, was hauled off to jail in August 2006 for making canine noises at Sunita Vedhara's dogs. Prosecutors said Little had been abusive to police officers before he turned his ire towards Ruby and Princess.

Little was charged under the Public Order Act for causing harassment, alarm or distress to the dogs' owner, despite Sunita not making a complaint.

In January 2007, magistrates fined the teenager 50 pounds with a further 150 pounds in costs. The conviction was quashed by a judge last month. She remarked: "The law is not an ass."

This is what Sunita told reporters after the incident -

"He (Little) was messing about, being a daft young lad. We didn't want to see him prosecuted but the police said he was being taken to court, which we found surprising. The dogs weren't really upset by it at all."
Moral of the Story: And you thought Indians were crazy for raising a hue and cry over a kiss

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