Simon Spence QC writes for Solicitors Journal

September 7, 2021

Although a dog is often cited as a man’s best friend – it would seem they are not always that friendly with the Administrative Court. Simon Spence QC analyses the recent decision (Royal Mail Group Ltd v Richard Watson [2021] EWHC 2098 (Admin)). The case highlighted that potential criminal liability could fall upon anyone who leaves their dog unattended- at home- with access to the letterbox. If the dog takes a bite at the postman, then dog owners could face prosecution and criminal liability, even if not on the property at the time. Simon Spence QC summarised:

“It is of note that both Watson and Goddard are private prosecutions following a police/CPS decision not to prosecute or, in the case of Mr Watson, to resolve the matter by way of a Community Resolution, requiring him to fit a guard around his letter box, which he did before Royal Mail prosecuted him. I strongly suspect that Royal Mail will feel fortified by the decision in Watson – and we shall see more (otherwise entirely law-abiding) dog owners being taken to court.”

Read full analysis here: [Solicitors Journal]