The man charged with owning a dog which attacked his own son, leaving him hospitalised, has had his sentencing adjourned for the second time.

The case has been before the courts for almost three years.

Orlando Shepherd was due to be sentenced this morning at the Manukau District Court over the attack in July 2014 but did not have legal representation.

Judge Francis Eivers urged him to seek legal advice because Auckland Council was seeking more than a year imprisonment.

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At a hearing later in the day, it became apparent Shepherd had been appointed counsel through legal aid but the lawyer was in a trial.

Judge delayed the sentencing for a week so the defendant could meet with this lawyer.

"Next time it will go ahead one way or another . . . but you must turn up."

Prosecutor Richard Marchant said while he accepted Shepherd's need for legal representation, the delay "has to stop" and called it unacceptable.

"I don't hesitate to say this is delayed, I suspect that this is intentional."

The sentencing was adjourned to next week.

Orlando Shepherd with his son Shepherd Mea who was attacked by their dog recently in South Auckland. 6 September 2014 Herald on Sunday Photograph by Doug Sherring
Orlando Shepherd with his son Shepherd Mea who was attacked by their dog recently in South Auckland. 6 September 2014 Herald on Sunday Photograph by Doug Sherring

It was the second time Shepherd's sentencing was adjourned after he failed to appear for the first one in May last year due to a medical condition.

He then attempted to have his guilty plea withdrawn in November because the law was not being applied as Parliament had intended.

Shepherd's friend has previously told the Herald the onus had been reversed and the defendant appeared to have the responsibility to prove his innocence.

Orlando Shepherd with his son Shepherd Mea who was attacked by their dog recently in South Auckland. 6 September 2014 Herald on Sunday Photograph by Doug Sherring
Orlando Shepherd with his son Shepherd Mea who was attacked by their dog recently in South Auckland. 6 September 2014 Herald on Sunday Photograph by Doug Sherring

Shepherd has previously told the

Herald

he got the dog, named Musha, to protect his Housing New Zealand property in Otahuhu, South Auckland, from burglars.

Four-year-old Shepherd Mea spent 10 days in intensive care at Middlemore Hospital after the 2014 incident and required surgery.

Shepherd was charged a month later.

He was subsequently thrown out of his Housing New Zealand property for violating the no-pets tenancy agreement, he then lived in cars and garages.