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Shocked dog owner is fined £1,000 for walking her Alsatian off the lead... after she 'missed' £100 fine in the post (3 Pics)

 A pet owner said she was ‘absolutely gobsmacked’ when she was ordered to pay £1,000 for walking her dog OFF its lead - of which £500 was a fine.


Jane Hurry took her beloved Alsatian, Max, for a stroll near to her home in Colchester, Essex.
The mum-of-two was crossing playing fields when she was approached by a council warden who informed her she was being fined because Max, four, was not on his lead.

Fuming Jane said she could totally understand being fined had she failed to pick up her dog’s mess, but said she was completely unaware of the strict ruling about keeping dogs on leads.
Unfortunately for Jane, 54, she recently moved home and was unaware of correspondence ordering her to appear before magistrates last week.
As a result she did not attend court and was fined a whopping £500 in her absence, along with £450 costs and a further £50 surcharge.
Jane today called for council jobsworths to instead entirely ban dog walking from the playing fields where, Colchester Rugby Club play.
She said: “I was walking Max across the playing field when I saw the council chap getting out of his car.
“It was tipping it down with rain and I was walking between a couple of the pitches - not on the fields of play.
“He said ‘do you realise your dog should be on its lead. Have you not seen the signs? It’s an offence to walk your dog off the lead’.
“I told him he should stick around as there are at least 20 or 30 people every day who walk their dogs off their leads.
“I’d not been there for a while as I suffer from bad arthritis so my walks had been short but if I had known about the rule, Max would have been on his lead.
“I had not noticed any signs at all warning of the rule. £1,000 is one heck of a lot of money. I’ll never find it in a million years.”
Jane moved home earlier this year and has been receiving her mail sporadically from the new occupant.
She discovered last Friday she should have been in court the previous day.
“I would have pleaded guilty, I guess there’s nothing else I could have done, but I would have stood up and had my say.
“£1,000 is a ridiculous amount of money to have to pay. I was absolutely gobsmacked when I found out.
“If it was for dog fouling I could understand - I would have held my hands up but this was for a law that I knew nothing about.
“They should just ban dogs from the pitches entirely instead of this silly rule.”
Jane, who works as an activities co-ordinator in care homes, was caught out on January 15 on the Mill Road playing fields in Colchester.
She has never been in trouble before and said the fine and publicity following it had come as a massive shock.
“I’ve been going through a lot in my personal life recently so this was the last thing I needed.
“They could have issued a warning to me instead of the fine”, she added.
The council said Jane 'failed to comply with a public spaces protection order' when she allowed Max off his lead 'on and around the Mill Road sports pitches’.
The order bans dogs entirely from being on the pitches and to be must be kept on a lead if they are being walked on the outskirts.
It was introduced in 2016 after residents became fed up with dog fouling on the pitches.
Anyone breaching the order is breaking the law under the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act.
Offenders are initially issued with a £100 fine but if they don't pay it, they are sent two reminder letters over the following weeks.
If the warnings are still ignored, the council then takes them to court.
A Colchester Council spokesman added: "At no point in this particular case did we receive any communication from the defendant."
Colchester councillor Martin Goss said: "The clear message is if you do break the law, please just pay the fine because if it goes to court the magistrates will find against you in your absence."
Mr Goss said a number of fines had been issued under the order since it was introduced in October 2016, but this was the first time a recipient had not responded.
He added the playing fields are now under regular council surveillance and the number of warnings issued or tickets issued has "significantly dropped”.

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