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Personal Injury: Judge arrested after dog biting

A top judge has been arrested after her dog allegedly attacked a neighbour.

Judge Beatrice Bolton appeared at court in Carlisle after her neighbour's son, Frederik Bekker, had been bitten on the leg by her German shepherd while sunbathing in their shared garden.

She was convicted under the Dangerous Dogs Act of failing to control her dog and fined £2,500. On her hearing the verdict, Judge Bolton swore and left the courtroom.

Judge Bolton has been released on bail and the Crown Prosecution Service is currently deciding whether to bring any charges.

She has not sat at Newcastle Crown Court since her conviction and was heard shouting from outside the courtroom, "I'll never set foot in a court again."

She later said: "I have to tell you I'm absolutely devastated by this conviction.

"I have always sought to do what was right in relation to my neighbours and was very conscious of my public position and tried very hard for it not to be said that I was abusing such a position."

Mr Bekker's parents described Judge Bolton and her partner as "neighbours from hell" and said they lived "in terror" of the dog which, after biting a postman's leg, had caused mail deliveries to be suspended from Judge Bolton's home.

Following the incident, Northumbria Police claimed that their inquiries were ongoing, but they had "taken action to assure public safety and these dogs have been removed".

Related links:
Read more on this story (BBC)
Read about animal and dog bite law (FindLaw)
Find local personal injury solicitors throughout the UK (FindLaw)