Grandfather’s five pet pugs who nipped at postman are spared being put down


Allen Parkinson, 75, was hauled into court after the dogs escaped through his open French doors and set about Steve Humphreys

A grandfather who faced having to destroy his five pet pugs after they surrounded a postman and nipped at his legs has been spared the ordeal of putting them to sleep – after a court heard he had a warning sign up.

Allen Parkinson, 75, was ordered to attend Manchester Magistrates’ Court after the dogs ran out through the open French doors of his Cheshire home and set about Steve Humphreys.

The postman was attempting to leave a package near the rear of Parkinson’s home at the time.

Mr Humphreys ran back to his Royal Mail van in a bid to escape the dogs, but the pack caught up with him as he was about to get into the vehicle.

He was bitten on the arm and face by another larger dog, also belonging to Parkinson. Two passers-by intervened to prevent him being bitten further.

The postman went to A&E and was treated in hospital for four days, during which he was given three face stitches and five stitches on his arm.

He subsequently had to take two months off work and was scarred for life, the court heard.

At Manchester Magistrates’ Court, retired construction engineer Parkinson, who also has a pet dachshund, admitted a charge of having dangerous dogs out of control.

But he was spared a destruction order and was instead fined £250 after the court heard the bulldog involved in the attack had already been put to sleep.

The court also heard Parkinson had a ‘Danger – Beware Dogs’ sign near to where the pets were kept. 

Royal Mail officials now refuse to post letters at his £800,000 detached home.

Pictured here are four of the five pugs owned by Mr Parkinson. Magistrates ruled that the dogs should not be put down

Pictured here are four of the five pugs owned by Mr Parkinson. Magistrates ruled that the dogs should not be put down

Royal Mail officials now refuse to post letters at his £800,000 home in Wilmslow, Cheshire (pictured)

The court also heard he had a 'Danger - Beware Dogs' sign near to the where the dogs were kept (pictured)

The court also heard he had a ‘Danger – Beware Dogs’ sign near to the where the dogs were kept (pictured)

The court heard the incident occurred on September 22, 2019, while Mr Humphreys was on his rounds.

Prosecutor Robin Lynch said: ‘The postman saw there was something on the other side of some French doors and the dogs then came out and attacked him.

‘They bit his legs and he immediately began to run back to the van. But before he got there the larger dog bit his face and arm. 

‘A man came out of the premises but didn’t make any attempts to see what had happened. Two separate members of the public did try to help him.

‘The matter was reported and the defendant attended a voluntary interview where he said he didn’t see what had happened and described the dogs as “friendly”. 

Mr Lynch added: ‘He suggested the injury to the victim was not a bite but a scratch – but it clearly was a wound.

‘He said the injuries may have occurred on the fence which has sharp edges, or from a piece of wood sticking out from the fence.

‘The victim said the driveway did not have a gate and there were no warnings and is clear about that.

‘There was a previous incident about a year earlier where one of his dogs bit another postman.’

In a statement Mr Humphreys told police he had ‘not slept well since’ and had ‘recurring nightmares’ of the incident.

He said: ‘I am anxious, emotional, get regular flashbacks and am doubting myself as a person. I am finding it very hard to have our own dog at home and this is causing friction with my partner and son. I have a constant reminder of the attack because of the permanent scarring I have been left with.’

In mitigation for Parkinson, lawyer Mr Forz Khan said: ‘He is retired and used to work in the construction industry.

‘The military often used him and he helped build an airport in the Falklands and has worked in Iraq. 

‘He has had a very substantial career in construction and has been married for 51 years.

‘They have four adult children aged 43, 44, 45 ad 47 and have nine grandchildren aged between eighteen months and fifteen years.

The Dog pen in which the Postman is believe to have entered at the side of the home of Allen Parkinson

The Dog pen in which the Postman is believe to have entered at the side of the home of Allen Parkinson

‘This whole affair has been a very traumatic episode for him. The fact of his appearances at court have given him and his wife sleepless nights and have caused him to be nauseous and unable to eat.’

Speaking about the incident, he said: ‘Their regular postman whom they had had for several years used to come to the door but this one didn’t and stopped at their dog enclosure.

‘If he had remained there this incident would not have occurred.

‘His wife told him the postman was coming to the dog enclosure and the postman opened it despite there being a very clear no entry sign.

‘Dogs are, like people, very territorial. If someone came and sat in the magistrates’ lounge you would raise an eyebrow.

‘That enclosure is the dogs’ area and that is why there is a no entry sign there. 

‘The bulldog who bit the victim was down that day and the dog who bit another postman last year was also put down on the day of that incident.’ 

He said Mr Humphries was now pursuing a civil claim and urged magistrates not to ‘double’ punish his client.

Mr Khan said: ‘The dogs were only out of control for a few seconds and had never bitten anyone before. There is no reason to fear this could happen again.’ 

‘He did everything he could have done to make sure no harm was done. The no entry sign would have been clear to anyone with two eyes.’

Parkinson declined to comment after the hearing.

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