Judge orders the death of two Staffordshire Bull Terriers after a man used one ‘as a weapon’
A judge has ordered the destruction of two Staffordshire Bull Terriers who attacked police officers – one on one occasion, on the orders of the man in charge. Lee Ball, who was in charge of dogs Marley and Dolly at the time of the incidents, sealed the fate of one of the animals when he used it “as a weapon”. The other dog attacked an officer who was trying to help Ball, Leicester Crown Court heard.
The 43-year-old appeared before a judge on Friday to be sentenced for the two dog attacks – along with a catalog of other offenses when he violently assaulted a bar worker, five police officers, racially assaulted three of between them and urinated twice. in a police van. He also behaved in a lewd and disgusting manner while exposing himself to a female constable in the van.
The court heard that Ball found himself outside his former address in Cottesmore Road, near Uppingham Road, Leicester, on the afternoon of Wednesday August 26, 2020, in his ‘foaming mouth’ and ‘clearly ill’ pajamas “, when a police community support officer met him and asked for help. When other officers arrived on the scene, they were concerned for the well-being of the accused.
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When Ball went inside in an attempt to lock himself in, an officer stepped in the door. Marley, who had escaped from the property, then bit the officer in the leg, causing puncture wounds.
Naeem Valli, prosecuting, said: “The dog was Tasered by another officer and at that point the dog let go. The injured officer ran away but the dog bit him again on my leg.”
In a separate incident on Wednesday July 28 last year, Ball was outside a newsagent’s in Leicester’s East Park Road with Dolly, who at the time was the subject of a control order from the behavior meaning he must be kept under effective supervision at all times and not allowed to pose a danger, along with Marley and a third dog.
Due to Ball’s conduct at the time, an off-duty special constable, accompanied by his father, attempted to detain Ball. Mr Valli said: ‘The defendant ordered the dog to attack him.’ Dolly bit the officer’s upper leg, then bit the father’s pants. There were no injuries, but the incident sealed the dog’s fate. The hearing was told that the dogs did not belong to Ball, but belonged to his ex-partner. However, he was responsible for it when the incidents occurred.
The court was also told that at 11.30pm on Tuesday March 1 this year Ball was escorted from the R Bar in Leicester’s Granby Street where he was behaving irrationally. He attempted to enter and threatened to stab a male employee, pushing him backward several times, before Ball pulled his pants down to urinate in the street.
Police attended and Ball attempted to bite them, leaving spit on an officer’s jacket. Although a spit guard was placed over Ball’s head, he bit another officer and kicked another constable three times in the chest, screaming vile racist abuse, the prosecutor said.
Ball claimed he overdosed and then urinated in a police van on the way to Leicester Royal Infirmary – where he continued with racist rants. Ball again urinated in the van on the way to the police station, exposed himself and made disgusting comments while playing with himself, Mr Valli said.
The defendant, of no fixed address, admitted to failing to comply with a dog control order and one count of being responsible for a dangerously out of control dog, namely Dolly. He was found guilty by magistrates, after a trial, of being responsible for a dangerously out of control dog, linked to the Marley incident.
Ball admitted common assault on the R Bar worker, five counts of common assault on emergency workers, two counts of threatening behavior, indecent exposure, two counts of damaging a police van, one count of causing racially aggravated fear of violence and three counts of racially aggravated common assault against officers.
James Varley, mitigating for Ball, said his client sought solace in the drink to forget the “pain and anger” of earlier traumatic events in his life, but ended up “behaving in a dreadful way”. Mr Varley said the officer who suffered puncture wounds from Marley while trying to help the defendant did not need stitches but was understandably ‘very annoyed’.
“The defendant was a mental patient who was out of his face trying to get away from the police and back inside,” Mr Varley said. “He had seven entries into the psychiatric unit at Bradgate since his last release from prison and was more of a danger to himself.”
Marley was then living at Ball’s address and was trying to protect Ball when he bit the officer, Mr Varley said. He added: “When I’m sober, [Ball] realizes the problem and has attended classes while in custody and help is available upon release.”
Sentencing Ball, Recorder Michael Auty QC told him: “You have a long criminal record, starting with dishonesty, then violence and have a number of racially aggravated convictions.” He praised the officer who suffered “nasty injuries” from Marley for his professionalism and “sensitive and caring” role in arriving at the scene and trying to calm the accused down.
He told Ball, “He had no idea what he was getting into, but he had your best interests in mind.” The judge added: “In the condition you were in, you weren’t capable of looking after yourself, let alone a dog.”
He said thankfully no serious harm was done to the off-duty special constable and his father who met Dolly – who Ball had tried to use as a “weapon” by ordering an attack.
Ball was imprisoned for three years. He was banned from owning a dog for 10 years and ordered to register on a sex offenders registry for seven years, for indecent assault.
The Recorder issued destruction orders relating to both Marley and Dolly, but said the orders were not to be implemented for 28 days, to allow their owner to come to court to challenge the issue.