Judge David Pugsley recently allowed a prisoner who was on remand go home to feed his dog, so concerned was he about the welfare of the animal. The judge has been heavily criticised for his actions, but his kindness towards the dog owner showed a real human side to him.
31 year old Daniel Reaney, who was due to be sentenced last week for burglary, but he appealed to the judge from his prison cell, where he was awaiting sentencing, stating that he needed to look after his Staffordshire Bull Terier named Vinnie. His dog is called Vinnie, after Vinnie Jones – the former Wimbledon footballer turned movie star.
Daniel Reaney pleaded with the judge, saying:
He’s lovely, he’s like a child to me. I’ve had to get someone to go in to feed him but I need to sort something out for him. I know I’ll probably be sent to prison on Friday. I’ve turned my life around. I’ve been doing voluntary work and doing better than I’ve ever done.
Paul Spratt, the prosecutor, opposed the bail but he was overruled by the judge, who stated:
I’m breaking all the conventions but I’m going to grant you bail until Friday.
If you don’t turn up I will send you to prison for breaching bail. But I believe you will be here.
The Conservative’s candidate for Romford in last week’s general election, Andrew Rosindell, criticised the decision:
This sets a very dangerous precedent if judges start freeing criminals so that they can look after their pets. It’s a very silly move. The welfare of animals is important but this can’t be a reason for criminals to be released from jail.
Daniel Reaney was very pleased with the decision though, as no doubt was Vinnie also. Daniel commented:
I’m grateful to the court for giving me time to make arrangements for Vinnie.
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