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ruff justice

Execution decision postponed for two German Shepherds involved in Dublin attack on neighbour

District Court judge Anthony Halpin had directed that Cooper (11) and his partner Nina (3) be destroyed.

THE LIVES OF two German Shepherd dogs, sentenced to death following an attack, still lay in the balance today after an appeal court judge postponed a decision on their future.

District Court judge Anthony Halpin had directed that Cooper (11) and his partner Nina (3) be destroyed.

He found the inseparable duo had been responsible for a vicious attack on their neighbour Michael O’Rourke and his two small dogs as they left their Co Dublin home for an early Sunday morning walk.

Judge Halpin accepted the free-roaming unmuzzled and unleashed dogs had torn Mr O’Rourke’s jeans and ripped the body harness of one of his pets. He said they were dangerous and ordered their destruction.

The Alsatians’ owner Khalid Hamdy appealed to Circuit Civil Court Judge John O’Connor to overturn the lower court’s decision which allows the mercy killing of Cooper and Nina on grounds they were a danger to members of the public.

They have been on death row for the past 230 days and remain in Fingal County Council’s compound awaiting their fate.

Judge O’Connor heard O’Rourke, of Cedar View, Ridgewood, Swords, outline what he described as a vicious attack on him and his pets just as they left their front door.

O’Rourke produced his torn jeans and his pet’s ripped body harness in evidence. Neighbours told how, pyjama-clad, they had screamed from their first floor bedroom windows in a bid to scare off the attacking dogs.

Two dog behaviour specialists produced varying reports on the sentenced canines for Judge O’Connor but agreed the dogs could not be allowed to remain with owner Khalid Hamdy, also of Ridgewood, without significant security improvements to Hamdy’s home and garden.

They also told the court that if the dogs were to be allowed to remain with Hamdy he would be required to undergo training in their handling, exercise regime, care and security and that they be muzzled and restrained on leashes.

Hamdy, who had not appear in the Circuit Court for his appeal, had earlier suggested the only way they could have got out of his house was by opening the front door themselves. Judge O’Connor heard a suggestion that the front door lock could be changed.

He adjourned the hearing of the appeal and sought suggestions from barrister Brian Sugrue, for Hamdy, and Lydia Bunni, counsel for Fingal County Council, as to the future outcome for both German Shepherds.

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