Dog walker punched 67-year-old man after dispute over lead

Court hearing.
Court hearing.

A dog walker lashed out and punched a 67-year-old man in the street after he had been told to keep his pet on a lead.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Tuesday, July 11, how Paul McKeown, 44, of Schoolfield Close, Bolsover, had been walking his dog close to his home when another dog walker told him he should not have his pet on the loose.

Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop said: “The complainant was walking his dog and his partner had dogs behind him on a lead.

“He came into the cul-de-sac and saw a dog coming to them not on a lead but it was not barking.

“He saw Mr McKeown and said, ‘put that dog on a lead, boy’, and the defendant came over and punched him to the side of his head and he fell to the ground and he knocked his knee.

“There was a verbal exchange and the defendant left the area and the complainant complained to the police.”

McKeown told police the complainant called him “a boy” and he had punched the man and knocked him to the ground because he had felt threatened.

He added that he regretted what he had done and he felt remorseful.

McKeown pleaded guilty to assault by beating after the incident on June 21.

Defence solicitor John Wilford said: “The defendant should not have reacted the way he has but it was a condescending remark to call him ‘a boy’ and tell him to put his dog on a lead when the dog was not being a problem.”

Mr Wilford added that the complainant had called McKeown a “good boy” when he had gone to put his dog on a lead and that had made him angry and that is when he struck the man.

The court also heard how McKeown is a vulnerable adult who has anxiety and emotional issues and has difficulties managing his medication.

Magistrates sentenced McKeown to a community order lasting until April 11, 2018, with a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement for 18 days.

McKeown was also fined £80 and must pay £50 compensation, an £85 victim surcharge and £85 costs.