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Sentencing For July's Waitoa Dog Attack

Sentencing For July's Waitoa Dog Attack
New Zealand Police Waikato News Release
2:17pm 17 September 2008

17 September 2008

The owner of four dogs that attacked a teenage boy in Waitoa in July appeared in the Morrinsville District Court today for sentencing.

Stuart WITERE, 37, had pled guilty to charges of owning a dog that causes injury and four counts of failing to register a dog.

The charges relate to the 14 July attack by Mr WITERE'S four pitbull/ greyhound cross dogs on a 13-year-old boy that resulted in the boy suffering over 100 dog bits and having to undergo several hours surgery in Waikato Hospital.

The dogs were later destroyed.

Sentenced to six months community detention and 100 hours community work Mr WITERE was also ordered to pay $5000 reparations.

Reflecting on the sentence Sergeant Rod Smart of Morrinsville Police said it appeared an appropriate balance had been found in recognising the seriousness of the attack and the boy's injuries with the dog owner's remorsefulness over what had happened.

"Mr WITERE'S early guilty plea has saved the victim and his family further stress and upset that would result from a protracted court case, he is genuinely remorseful and a harsher sentence would not undo the harm done."

Mr Smart said the incident should be a reminder to dog owners of their responsibilities to register their dogs and keep them under control.

"Had it not been for the tenacity of the victim, the bravery of a passer-by and the skills of the surgeons the attack could have ended a lot worse than it did, we are happy to be able to report the young boy is making an excellent recovery."


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