Homeless man “failed by the system” allowed to keep dogs which have bitten two people

Norwich Magistrates Court. Picture: Denise Bradley

Norwich Magistrates Court. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Archant

A young homeless man who 'the system is failing' has been allowed to keep his dogs despite one biting two people in Norwich.

24-year-old Michael Mobb has owned a tan Staffordshire bull terrier and black and white collie for four years, and spends the majority of his ESA and PIP benefits on them, Norwich Magistrates Court heard on Tuesday.

But after one bit a member of the public in October Mobb was given a dog control order requiring them to be muzzled in public.

Mobb admitted breaching the order after the dog bit another person on April 20 on St Stephen's Street, as well as racially abusing a police officer and breach of a conditional discharge.

Andrew Nickerson, prosecuting, told the court on the same day another witness saw Mobb with both dogs, which were 'relieving themselves on the path'.

They challenged him about it but were verbally abused.

Mr Nickerson added: 'There is a second allegation from another person who hasn't made a statement. There was a point where the witness was near to the bus shelter outside Sainsbury's, sees the two dogs and feels a sharp pain with one of the dogs jumping up and biting her on the left leg.

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'She describes having a rip in her clothes and a small bruise but no statement or support for a prosecution.'

The same day Mobb was seen by PC Abeyta, who was off duty and was aware the dogs required muzzles. When he went to arrest Mobb three days later he was racially abused.

Mobb has convictions for 33 offences over 19 convictions, most recently the dangerous dog offence in October 2017, for which he received a financial penalty and the dog control order.

Damien Moore, mitigating, said: 'This is a young man who has no accommodation. He is clearly in desperate need of guidance and help. He has gone for interview at Bishopbridge House and is hopeful in a couple of weeks he will have a roof over his head.

'He is someone who the system is failing. He has no connection with his family. He has no friends. The only thing he has in his life are these two dogs.

'To disqualify this man from having dogs would completely rip his life apart.'

Magistrates told Mobb they were 'not going to take his dogs away' but warned him to keep them under control.

He was fined £194 with £30 costs, a £30 victim surcharge and told to pay £50 compensation to PC Abeyta.