Man sentenced after dog bites young girl


A Frankton man looking after a dog that attacked a young girl will pay $1000 reparation. 

Panelbeater Michael Coulter took his friend’s Bullmastiff-Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross and his own pooch to a Frankton party on May 14, leaving them untethered and unsupervised while he drank, Queenstown District Court heard yesterday (Monday). 

The dog, called Coby, pounced on five-year-old Eden Pritchard as she stood on the footpath outside the house behind her mother. 

After the dog knocked Eden to the ground and bit her in the face, she was taken to Lakes District Hospital with bruising and puncture wounds on her cheek – which have since left small, permanent scars. 

Lawyer Phena Byrne said 24-year-old Coulter admits he wasn’t paying proper attention to the dogs and wants to put matters right – but he claimed it was out of character for the offending mongrel. 

Judge Dominic Flatley stated the mauling would haunt Eden for the rest of her life. 

“If I had my way, these dogs wouldn’t be allowed in the community,” he said. 

“These dogs can kill, Mr Coulter, and lucky for you the injury was relatively minor here, but this would have been terrifying for this girl.” 

“How you could have been taking no notice of what the dog was doing…and not controlling the animal, I do not know.” 

Coulter pleaded guilty to a charge under the Dog Control Act of being an owner of a dog which attacked a person, causing serious injury. He’s to pay $1000 to Eden and complete 250 hours community work. 

“Let the message be sent loud and clear to other dog owners,” Judge Flatley said. 

Judge Flatley ordered that the dog be destroyed.

Drivers face prison

Two local drivers are staring at prison stints for repeat driving offences, according to Judge Flatley. 

Fernhill man Dyson Greening, a 20-year-old security officer, was caught driving while disqualified on April 27 while taking his dog to the vet. It’s a fourth offence for Greening, who’s soon to be a father. 

Judge Flatley: “He has completely flouted orders of this court and driven when he has been ordered not to.” 

Greening will be sentenced on August 22. 

Also being sentenced to a likely prison term on that date will be Arrowtown builder Waylon Jenkins, 29. 

Jenkins pleaded guilty yesterday to drink-driving, after being stopped by cops for speeding on Malaghan Road on June 12 and then breathalysed. 

Judge Flatley says father-of-two Jenkins has several other convictions and has twice served jail time. 

“I can’t see anything other than a sentence of imprisonment will be handed down here,” the judge warned.

Community work for dangerous driver

A South African chef living locally has been ordered to do 150 hours community work after crashing his car on Gorge Rd – just weeks after being disqualified for drink-driving. 

Charl Simonhoff, 27, was heading towards Arthurs Point about 4am on July 7 when he lost control, spinning the vehicle 180 degrees. 

He was taken to hospital for minor injuries. 

Simonhoff says a combination of anti-depressants and alcohol caused him to make stupid decisions and he pleaded guilty to driving in a dangerous manner, and while disqualified. 

“You could have killed somebody,” Judge Flatley stated. 

Simonhoff was also disqualified for a further 12 months from December.