11th-hour bid to save death-row dog who mauled cat next door
THE owner of dog sentenced to death after attacking a neighbour’s cat is taking the case to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission in an 11th-hour bid to save the pet’s life.
Lawyers dealing with the case claim there may have been a “miscarriage of justice” after several attempts to gain a pardon for C-Jay, a Staffordshire bull terrier cross, failed.
The investigation could see the case return to the Court of Appeal in Edinburgh, where senior judges previously rejected a bid to overturn the original decision made in Dundee Justice of the Peace Court.
In February last year, C-Jay escaped from his garden and was found with Bobby, his neighbour’s 17-year-old cat between his jaws. Bobby, who is believed to have almost fully recovered, suffered a broken leg, jaw and sternum.
Since the attack, C-Jay has been in private kennels in the city and is unlikely to be allowed to return home unless the decision is overturned.
The case has attracted the attention of animal lovers and an online petition “Save CJay Jackson!” gathered 1,195 signatures since its launch last November. Tracy Jackson, 35, from Fintry, Dundee, appeared at the city’s Justice of the Peace Court last August in connection with the incident, and admitted failing to keep C-Jay under control after he escaped from her garden. She was told C-Jay would have to be put down.
Following her unsuccessful appeal last November, Miss Jackson’s lawyer, Ross Donnelly, and his colleagues attempted to have the decision overturned using the extremely rare “nobile officium” rule, which gives the High Court in Scotland the power to reassess appeal decisions believed to be “manifestly unfair”.
Mr Donnelly, of legal firm Lawson, Coull and Duncan, said: “The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission is the last avenue we have to explore in terms of C-Jay. We have made representations regarding C-Jay and we expect hear the outcome of the investigation sometime around the start of May.”
Mr Donnelly said he was “fairly confident” the dog’s life could still be saved as he believed there is no concrete evidence that C-Jay had a history of aggressive behaviour before the incident.
He added: “I have had a look at the case again and the issue appears to be over whether this dog has any ‘previous convictions’, so to speak.
“It is my understanding that when this case first called, it was the first time this specific dog had come to the attention of the courts. “When you look at it in that context, the decision to destroy the dog is a harsh one.”
Miss Jackson, who delivered C-Jay and owns his mother, Kia, said: “I have just been so upset. It has been really hard. I just want everyone to keep the campaign going so we can save C-Jay.”
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