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News
May 3, 2007
Kyle Little growled at dogs
Kyle Little growled at dogs
Ruff justice for barking teenager
by Gulliver

There were howls of anger after a teenager was hauled into court for barking at dogs.

Kyle Little faced 'ruff' justice at the hands of the British legal system when the authorities prosecuted him for the so-called crime.

He was fined for causing the dogs distress. The case was eventually thrown out on appeal, however the taxpayer has to pick up an estimated legal bill of £8,000.

Questions are now being asked why the case was taken in the first place and a member of parliament is howling for answers.

The bizarre case, which finally ended before a top appeal judge at Newcastle Crown Court, began last August. The 19-year-old jobless laborer was arrested on a charge of public disorder after police officers spotted him barking at two Labradors in their owner's garden.

He was arrested for "threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behavior".
The city's magistrates decided he had caused the animals distress and fined him £50 with £150 costs in January.

But the father-to-be launched an appeal and at the hearing his conviction was quashed after prosecutors offered no evidence.

Judge Beatrice Bolton said: "The law is not an ass. I am sure an expert on Labradors would no doubt explain how distressed the dog was but I don't think section 5 of the Public Order Act applies to dogs."

Kyle, of Mortimer Avenue, Newbiggin Hall estate, said after the hearing: "I was just walking past the house and this dogs jumped up and barked at us so I did a daft little growl and went 'woof woof' at them.

"The next thing I knew I had been grabbed by the two police officers who bent my arms up behind my back and handcuffed me.

"They threw me into a van and whisked me off to the police station, where they threw me into a cell for about five hours.

"They said they were going to charge me with a public order offence for barking at the dogs. I couldn't believe it.

"This has been a joke all the way through. I am glad the judge has thrown it out of court. I am shocked it's cost so much money."

Kyle, who was with friends and his girlfriend Nessa, 16, at the time of the incident, was surprised to hear he had caused the dogs distress.

He said: "I love dogs, they're my favorite animals. I've got a terrier and I had an Alsatian as well until yesterday.

"Our lass is pregnant so I decided to get rid of him if there's going to be a baby around. I'd never do anything to hurt a dog."

The Labradors' owner Sunita Vedhara said: "We were surprised that the case was taken to court. He was just a daft lad."

The legal bill for the appeal process will be met from central funds.

Newcastle North MP Doug Henderson, said: "People want to see the efforts of the police concentrated on real criminals and crime".

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