Dog owner cleared of allowing her pets to savage disabled man in Bethnal Green

A dog owner accused of allowing her pets to savage a disabled man in a Bethnal Green park was cleared of responsibility today (Friday, January 4) after insisting the animals were only being “playful”.

Beverly Coules, 54, who lives in St Peter’s Close, was alleged to have let her two bull terriers attack Richard O’Connor as he walked his nine-month-old puppy in nearby Ion Square Gardens.

Mr O’Connor, who uses a walking stick, was knocked to the ground as he tried to wrench his prized Staffordshie bull terrier, Ruby, from the jaws of the attacking hounds, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.

He was bitten twice on the hand and leg during the clash on December 29, 2011, jurors were told.

But Coules insisted her Staffordshire bull terrier, Abby, and English bull terrier, Tsar, were just being “playful” and would not have hurt Mr O’Connor.

She added Tsar could not have attacked Mr O’Connor because he had been tied to a nearby railing by his lead during the incident.

When Mr O’Connor went to see Coules later the same day to show her his injuries, she refused to believe her animal could have inflicted them, the court heard.

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Coules was cleared of one count of allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control in a public place.