Dog attack accused appear in court

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Tauranga District Court.
Tauranga District Court.

A Gate Pa man has been charged with being the owner of Staffordshire Bull Terrier-Cross which attacked a meter reader and causing deep wounds to his right arm requiring skin grafts.

Benjamin Jo Graham, 28, faced a charge of being the owner of dog which attacked a person and caused serious injury in Tauranga Registrar's Court today.

The offence is alleged to have occurred on February 19 this year during the meter reader's visit to Graham's Tom Muir Drive property.

As the 65-year-old male meter reader approached the metre next to the garage door the dog lunged at him and bit him on the right arm, it is alleged.

It is further alleged that as the complainant was knocked backwards the dog lunged again and bit him on the right forearm, resulting in deep bite wounds requiring skins grafts.

The meter reader stumbled backwards and fell on to the grass just out of reach of the dog who was tied up with a long rope.

He was rushed to hospital where he stayed for six nights while doctors took skin from his thigh to graft on to the wound.

Graham's dog has been euthanised after he surrendered the animal to Tauranga City Council animal services.

Graham was further remanded to appear in Tauranga District Court on May 14 when it is expected he will plead guilty to the charge.

Also in the same court today was Tauranga man Thomas Tareha Taite, 47, who also faced a charge of being the owner of dog which attacked a person and caused serious injury.

The charge relates to an allegation that Taite's American Pitbull Terrier Mastiff-Cross attacked a 64-year-old man visiting his Kairua Rd property on February 19.

The complainant is alleged to have suffered deep puncture wounds to his right leg, which required hospital treatment.

The dog is being held at Tauranga Pound until the matter is resolved.

Taite's next court appearance is in Tauranga District Court on May 12 when he must plead to the charge. He has also indicated he will plead guilty on that date.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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