Japanese Akita dog escapes death sentence

Paul Ward and Samson

Paul Ward and Samson

First published in Eastleigh

A HAMPSHIRE dog responsible for savagely attacking a string of victims has been spared a death sentence.

It has been a year of “hell” for owner Paul Ward, who has not known if his beloved Japanese Akita cross-breed named Samson would live or die.

But Southampton Crown Court has ruled that the eight-year-old dog, which left a four-year-old boy with cuts to his leg, can live to see another day as long as he wears a muzzle whenever he goes out in public.

The ruling has come as a huge relief for the 50-year-old, of Laundry Road, in Shirley Warren, who always insisted that Samson, who he affectionately calls “his baby”, never deserved to die.

Mr Ward said: “It has been 15 months of hell, not knowing whether Samson was going to live or die.

“It has been terrible leaving him in the morning and saying goodbye, not being able to tell him if he is going to be here tomorrow.

“He is just a normal dog and this all happened because of the circumstances we were forced into at the time. We were homeless and all we had was the caravan. We didn’t want to be there but we had no choice.

“Now we are in a house which has 6ft metal fencing around the garden so he is safe there and he has plenty of room to run around.”

As previously reported in the Daily Echo, Mr Ward was given a three-month suspended sentence for 12 months when he admitted two counts of owning a dog which caused injury while dangerously out of control in a public place.

One of the victims, bailiff Timothy Walker, 62, needed 37 stitches after being mauled when he attempted to evict Mr Ward outside Chilworth Science Park, in February 2011.

Hours after the attack police and dog wardens ordered Mr Ward to muzzle Samson and to keep him under control in public. A month later 17-year-old student Harry Barron was bitten on his hand, when Mr Ward’s caravan was pitched on a grass verge in Bracken Place, Chilworth. Since then Samson has had a destruction order hanging over his head but Judge Nigel Pascoe ruled that as long as the dog wears a muzzle whenever he is out in public, Mr Ward could keep him.

Mr Walker, whose hand is now seven per cent disabled, said: “I have never had anything against the dog. I have always said that if the dog could be saved that would be the best outcome.

“But I do think Mr Ward has got off lightly and if his record is anything to go by, I wonder how long it will last before someone else is attacked.”

Comments (37)

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11:12am Tue 2 Oct 12

Cerdicjute says...

'Six foot metal fencing around the garden so he is safe'? Sounds like it is the public who are safer not this apparently vicious mutt. Apologist dog owners like this muppet are the ones in need of euthanasia.
'Six foot metal fencing around the garden so he [the dog] is safe'? Sounds like it is the public who are safer not this apparently vicious mutt. Apologist dog owners like this muppet are the ones in need of euthanasia. Cerdicjute
  • Score: 0

11:26am Tue 2 Oct 12

freefinker says...

.. ALL dogs should be muzzled in ALL public places.

End of problem.
.. ALL dogs should be muzzled in ALL public places. End of problem. freefinker
  • Score: 0

12:05pm Tue 2 Oct 12

long memory says...

No sign of remorse for the victims from the dog owner,why does that not surprise me.Agree with freefinker,all dogs should be muzzled and also be on a lead at all times when in public.
No sign of remorse for the victims from the dog owner,why does that not surprise me.Agree with freefinker,all dogs should be muzzled and also be on a lead at all times when in public. long memory
  • Score: 0

12:10pm Tue 2 Oct 12

George4th says...

So, if the dog bites again, who do we sue?
>
Hey, but don't worry, the NHS will repair the damage.
>
I'm sure the many who dislike or are afraid of dogs will be dismayed at this turn of events - it is madness!
So, if the dog bites again, who do we sue? > Hey, but don't worry, the NHS will repair the damage. > I'm sure the many who dislike or are afraid of dogs will be dismayed at this turn of events - it is madness! George4th
  • Score: 0

12:30pm Tue 2 Oct 12

Inform Al says...

If he is as irresponsible a dog owner as it would appear, it will not be long before the mutt is seen out without a muzzle. It would be nice to think that the Old Bill will then take action before someone else is bitten.
If he is as irresponsible a dog owner as it would appear, it will not be long before the mutt is seen out without a muzzle. It would be nice to think that the Old Bill will then take action before someone else is bitten. Inform Al
  • Score: 0

12:50pm Tue 2 Oct 12

elvisimo says...

freefinker wrote:
.. ALL dogs should be muzzled in ALL public places. End of problem.
more approporiate for a large proportion of Southamptons residents to be muzzled.
[quote][p][bold]freefinker[/bold] wrote: .. ALL dogs should be muzzled in ALL public places. End of problem.[/p][/quote]more approporiate for a large proportion of Southamptons residents to be muzzled. elvisimo
  • Score: 0

1:00pm Tue 2 Oct 12

dommyball says...

if the dog had been a staffy it would have been given the death sentence by now...probably.
if the dog had been a staffy it would have been given the death sentence by now...probably. dommyball
  • Score: 0

1:02pm Tue 2 Oct 12

sameoldscene says...

I wonder who will be next to be mauled?
I wonder who will be next to be mauled? sameoldscene
  • Score: 0

1:03pm Tue 2 Oct 12

townieboy says...

freefinker wrote:
.. ALL dogs should be muzzled in ALL public places. End of problem.
Cant agree more. Muzzled and on a lead at all times.
[quote][p][bold]freefinker[/bold] wrote: .. ALL dogs should be muzzled in ALL public places. End of problem.[/p][/quote]Cant agree more. Muzzled and on a lead at all times. townieboy
  • Score: 0

1:09pm Tue 2 Oct 12

Chet Rico says...

Wonder if the mutt attacked with the cry of Banzai ! In all seriousness however if it happens again the dog must be put down. We have all heard of young kids being attacked and killed by vicious unsupervised or otherwise dogs in the past. If the owner just happens to forget or cant be bothered to muzzle it on walks i fear the worst for some poor sole.
Wonder if the mutt attacked with the cry of Banzai ! In all seriousness however if it happens again the dog must be put down. We have all heard of young kids being attacked and killed by vicious unsupervised or otherwise dogs in the past. If the owner just happens to forget or cant be bothered to muzzle it on walks i fear the worst for some poor sole. Chet Rico
  • Score: 0

1:13pm Tue 2 Oct 12

Ted Rogers says...

All young men between the ages of 16 and 24 should be on a curfew between 8pm and 7am as some young men of that age are burglars.
All young men between the ages of 16 and 24 should be on a curfew between 8pm and 7am as some young men of that age are burglars. Ted Rogers
  • Score: 0

1:14pm Tue 2 Oct 12

elvisimo says...

Ted Rogers wrote:
All young men between the ages of 16 and 24 should be on a curfew between 8pm and 7am as some young men of that age are burglars.
brilliant!!
[quote][p][bold]Ted Rogers[/bold] wrote: All young men between the ages of 16 and 24 should be on a curfew between 8pm and 7am as some young men of that age are burglars.[/p][/quote]brilliant!! elvisimo
  • Score: 0

1:14pm Tue 2 Oct 12

Inform Al says...

Ted Rogers wrote:
All young men between the ages of 16 and 24 should be on a curfew between 8pm and 7am as some young men of that age are burglars.
And muzzled?
[quote][p][bold]Ted Rogers[/bold] wrote: All young men between the ages of 16 and 24 should be on a curfew between 8pm and 7am as some young men of that age are burglars.[/p][/quote]And muzzled? Inform Al
  • Score: 0

1:23pm Tue 2 Oct 12

Stillness says...

Chet Rico wrote:
Wonder if the mutt attacked with the cry of Banzai ! In all seriousness however if it happens again the dog must be put down. We have all heard of young kids being attacked and killed by vicious unsupervised or otherwise dogs in the past. If the owner just happens to forget or cant be bothered to muzzle it on walks i fear the worst for some poor sole.
The dog only bites people on the foot then?
[quote][p][bold]Chet Rico[/bold] wrote: Wonder if the mutt attacked with the cry of Banzai ! In all seriousness however if it happens again the dog must be put down. We have all heard of young kids being attacked and killed by vicious unsupervised or otherwise dogs in the past. If the owner just happens to forget or cant be bothered to muzzle it on walks i fear the worst for some poor sole.[/p][/quote]The dog only bites people on the foot then? Stillness
  • Score: 0

1:44pm Tue 2 Oct 12

RedDan says...

freefinker wrote:
.. ALL dogs should be muzzled in ALL public places.

End of problem.
Agreed, then lets make all cats wear gloves just incase they scratch, all humans wear steel underwear incase they are a rapist, as well as fingerless gloves incase they shoot someone.
[quote][p][bold]freefinker[/bold] wrote: .. ALL dogs should be muzzled in ALL public places. End of problem.[/p][/quote]Agreed, then lets make all cats wear gloves just incase they scratch, all humans wear steel underwear incase they are a rapist, as well as fingerless gloves incase they shoot someone. RedDan
  • Score: 0

1:49pm Tue 2 Oct 12

roofspace says...

The dog should be dead - end of story.
Why?
Because "Hours after the attack police and dog wardens ordered Mr Ward to muzzle Samson and to keep him under control in public."
What did he do - did he comply knowing he owned a dog that aggressively bit people - did he ****, he carried on his own sweet way.
He should be in Winchester prison.
The dog should be dead - end of story. Why? Because "Hours after the attack police and dog wardens ordered Mr Ward to muzzle Samson and to keep him under control in public." What did he do - did he comply knowing he owned a dog that aggressively bit people - did he ****, he carried on his own sweet way. He should be in Winchester prison. roofspace
  • Score: 0

1:49pm Tue 2 Oct 12

Chet Rico says...

Stillness says...
1:23pm Tue 2 Oct 12

Chet Rico wrote:
Wonder if the mutt attacked with the cry of Banzai ! In all seriousness however if it happens again the dog must be put down. We have all heard of young kids being attacked and killed by vicious unsupervised or otherwise dogs in the past. If the owner just happens to forget or cant be bothered to muzzle it on walks i fear the worst for some poor sole.
The dog only bites people on the foot then?

Bit of a freudian slip there. Still it could have been more painful ie are****
Stillness says... 1:23pm Tue 2 Oct 12 Chet Rico wrote: Wonder if the mutt attacked with the cry of Banzai ! In all seriousness however if it happens again the dog must be put down. We have all heard of young kids being attacked and killed by vicious unsupervised or otherwise dogs in the past. If the owner just happens to forget or cant be bothered to muzzle it on walks i fear the worst for some poor sole. The dog only bites people on the foot then? Bit of a freudian slip there. Still it could have been more painful ie are**** Chet Rico
  • Score: 0

2:15pm Tue 2 Oct 12

Inform Al says...

Stillness wrote:
Chet Rico wrote:
Wonder if the mutt attacked with the cry of Banzai ! In all seriousness however if it happens again the dog must be put down. We have all heard of young kids being attacked and killed by vicious unsupervised or otherwise dogs in the past. If the owner just happens to forget or cant be bothered to muzzle it on walks i fear the worst for some poor sole.
The dog only bites people on the foot then?
No, fish in the Solent.
[quote][p][bold]Stillness[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Chet Rico[/bold] wrote: Wonder if the mutt attacked with the cry of Banzai ! In all seriousness however if it happens again the dog must be put down. We have all heard of young kids being attacked and killed by vicious unsupervised or otherwise dogs in the past. If the owner just happens to forget or cant be bothered to muzzle it on walks i fear the worst for some poor sole.[/p][/quote]The dog only bites people on the foot then?[/p][/quote]No, fish in the Solent. Inform Al
  • Score: 0

2:17pm Tue 2 Oct 12

murfmeister says...

so he's got a new place now right next to southampton hospital! At least his next victim wont have far to go to casualty!

All dogs should be muzzled out in public then toddlers dont run the risk of horrific injuries and being scarred for life. It's always the same old story from the owners "he's so soft and he's never done that before"

Tougher sentences for irresponsible owners too

Dont give them the chance to ruin lives
so he's got a new place now right next to southampton hospital! At least his next victim wont have far to go to casualty! All dogs should be muzzled out in public then toddlers dont run the risk of horrific injuries and being scarred for life. It's always the same old story from the owners "he's so soft and he's never done that before" Tougher sentences for irresponsible owners too Dont give them the chance to ruin lives murfmeister
  • Score: 0

2:29pm Tue 2 Oct 12

Inform Al says...

I was given my 1st dog, a shetland sheepdog, on my 13th birthday with the clear understanding that both me and the dog attended training sessions. It became very evident that in reality it was I that was being trained. I have with my own family had German shepherds who because I was properly trained never even came close to being a threat to either my children, or to those outside. It is not the dogs that need to be muzzled, it's the owners that need to be trained, or sometimes locked up. I do believe however that a dog that escapes the death penalty should do so only on the understanding that it will be immediately rehomed.
I was given my 1st dog, a shetland sheepdog, on my 13th birthday with the clear understanding that both me and the dog attended training sessions. It became very evident that in reality it was I that was being trained. I have with my own family had German shepherds who because I was properly trained never even came close to being a threat to either my children, or to those outside. It is not the dogs that need to be muzzled, it's the owners that need to be trained, or sometimes locked up. I do believe however that a dog that escapes the death penalty should do so only on the understanding that it will be immediately rehomed. Inform Al
  • Score: 0

3:00pm Tue 2 Oct 12

Mr Price says...

Yea let him off again and then when he kills a young kid..we can all say didn't see that coming......ALL dogs should have a muzzle on in public places regardless of size or breed.
Yea let him off again and then when he kills a young kid..we can all say didn't see that coming......ALL dogs should have a muzzle on in public places regardless of size or breed. Mr Price
  • Score: 0

3:01pm Tue 2 Oct 12

BenjiWinsor says...

Talk of uses of Church halls and out comes the religious haters, talk of one dog that has bitten and out come the cynophobics ... unleashed
Talk of uses of Church halls and out comes the religious haters, talk of one dog that has bitten and out come the cynophobics ... unleashed BenjiWinsor
  • Score: 0

3:11pm Tue 2 Oct 12

Stillness says...

BenjiWinsor wrote:
Talk of uses of Church halls and out comes the religious haters, talk of one dog that has bitten and out come the cynophobics ... unleashed
Only Catholic dogs should have to be muzzled, like some of their priests lol.
[quote][p][bold]BenjiWinsor[/bold] wrote: Talk of uses of Church halls and out comes the religious haters, talk of one dog that has bitten and out come the cynophobics ... unleashed[/p][/quote]Only Catholic dogs should have to be muzzled, like some of their priests lol. Stillness
  • Score: 0

3:19pm Tue 2 Oct 12

Inform Al says...

Stillness wrote:
BenjiWinsor wrote:
Talk of uses of Church halls and out comes the religious haters, talk of one dog that has bitten and out come the cynophobics ... unleashed
Only Catholic dogs should have to be muzzled, like some of their priests lol.
Do Catholioc dogs pee with the left paw cocked.
[quote][p][bold]Stillness[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BenjiWinsor[/bold] wrote: Talk of uses of Church halls and out comes the religious haters, talk of one dog that has bitten and out come the cynophobics ... unleashed[/p][/quote]Only Catholic dogs should have to be muzzled, like some of their priests lol.[/p][/quote]Do Catholioc dogs pee with the left paw cocked. Inform Al
  • Score: 0

3:41pm Tue 2 Oct 12

The Grinch says...

In all seriousness this is madness again.

As a previous poster has indicated, there are all the indications here of an irresponsible dog owner in control of a dog that has attacked people. The worst combination - a combination that should have this dog removed and the owner banned from gettng any others.

A hard line should be taken and a message sent out.
In all seriousness this is madness again. As a previous poster has indicated, there are all the indications here of an irresponsible dog owner in control of a dog that has attacked people. The worst combination - a combination that should have this dog removed and the owner banned from gettng any others. A hard line should be taken and a message sent out. The Grinch
  • Score: 0

4:27pm Tue 2 Oct 12

Stillness says...

Inform Al wrote:
Stillness wrote:
BenjiWinsor wrote:
Talk of uses of Church halls and out comes the religious haters, talk of one dog that has bitten and out come the cynophobics ... unleashed
Only Catholic dogs should have to be muzzled, like some of their priests lol.
Do Catholioc dogs pee with the left paw cocked.
Only got Buddhist dogs here at the moment, and no they don't P with their legs crossed.
[quote][p][bold]Inform Al[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Stillness[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BenjiWinsor[/bold] wrote: Talk of uses of Church halls and out comes the religious haters, talk of one dog that has bitten and out come the cynophobics ... unleashed[/p][/quote]Only Catholic dogs should have to be muzzled, like some of their priests lol.[/p][/quote]Do Catholioc dogs pee with the left paw cocked.[/p][/quote]Only got Buddhist dogs here at the moment, and no they don't P with their legs crossed. Stillness
  • Score: 0

4:35pm Tue 2 Oct 12

Maine Lobster says...

sameoldscene wrote:
I wonder who will be next to be mauled?
Quite! "A string of victims..." Unbelievable the courts can let this dangerous animal live. Will it take the maming of a child before this public threat is removed?
[quote][p][bold]sameoldscene[/bold] wrote: I wonder who will be next to be mauled?[/p][/quote]Quite! "A string of victims..." Unbelievable the courts can let this dangerous animal live. Will it take the maming of a child before this public threat is removed? Maine Lobster
  • Score: 0

8:12pm Tue 2 Oct 12

egghead65 says...

should of been put down.it will keep thinking its top dog till it kills someone.the police shot a dog not to long ago for doing the same thing
should of been put down.it will keep thinking its top dog till it kills someone.the police shot a dog not to long ago for doing the same thing egghead65
  • Score: 0

8:21pm Tue 2 Oct 12

Stillness says...

egghead65 wrote:
should of been put down.it will keep thinking its top dog till it kills someone.the police shot a dog not to long ago for doing the same thing
Shame you missed out on an education.
Could you please explain why a "top dog" would only think that it is " top dog" until it kills someone? What do you know about dogs? What is a "top dog"? Why would a pack animal even want to be "top dog"?
Come on egghead (how ironic), try thinking before you type.
[quote][p][bold]egghead65[/bold] wrote: should of been put down.it will keep thinking its top dog till it kills someone.the police shot a dog not to long ago for doing the same thing[/p][/quote]Shame you missed out on an education. Could you please explain why a "top dog" would only think that it is " top dog" until it kills someone? What do you know about dogs? What is a "top dog"? Why would a pack animal even want to be "top dog"? Come on egghead (how ironic), try thinking before you type. Stillness
  • Score: 0

9:50pm Tue 2 Oct 12

tigger87 says...

I agree that the all dogs should be muzzled, but it shouldn't be put down. We don't put down humans who harm others! Why do this to a dog? I feel for the victims and I hope that the dog doesn't attack any more people. Also the owner should have the dog taken away from him and a lifetime ban given to stop him having any more animals.
I agree that the all dogs should be muzzled, but it shouldn't be put down. We don't put down humans who harm others! Why do this to a dog? I feel for the victims and I hope that the dog doesn't attack any more people. Also the owner should have the dog taken away from him and a lifetime ban given to stop him having any more animals. tigger87
  • Score: 0

4:11am Wed 3 Oct 12

WobblyCat says...

I got bit on the @rse whilst out jogging recently, the owners response to my indignation, 'you need to shout at him.' I love dogs but their owners can be dangerous!!
I got bit on the @rse whilst out jogging recently, the owners response to my indignation, 'you need to shout at him.' I love dogs but their owners can be dangerous!! WobblyCat
  • Score: 0

10:48am Wed 3 Oct 12

fcuk_miss says...

This is obviously not a one off; "the dog was scared and felt threatened", this dog has repeatedly attacked people and went undisciplined, as a result the dog has learnt this kind of behavior and will continue to attack people unless he learns that that behavior is unacceptable. Based on the fact he didn't before, I don't think Paul Ward is the kind of dog owner who will take responsibility and make sure his dog is not a danger to the public, even though he's been given a second chance to do so.
This is obviously not a one off; "the dog was scared and felt threatened", this dog has repeatedly attacked people and went undisciplined, as a result the dog has learnt this kind of behavior and will continue to attack people unless he learns that that behavior is unacceptable. Based on the fact he didn't before, I don't think Paul Ward is the kind of dog owner who will take responsibility and make sure his dog is not a danger to the public, even though he's been given a second chance to do so. fcuk_miss
  • Score: 0

1:27pm Fri 5 Oct 12

PepsiiColla says...

freefinker wrote:
.. ALL dogs should be muzzled in ALL public places.

End of problem.
Not all dogs are the same, as not all humans are the same. Can't judge all because of ones actions.
I understand keeping dogs on lead, even friendly dogs (I own a golden retriever and he is one of the most laid back dogs you could meet) but why put a muzzle on them all? Why punish all dogs cos a few people can't train or control theirs?
[quote][p][bold]freefinker[/bold] wrote: .. ALL dogs should be muzzled in ALL public places. End of problem.[/p][/quote]Not all dogs are the same, as not all humans are the same. Can't judge all because of ones actions. I understand keeping dogs on lead, even friendly dogs (I own a golden retriever and he is one of the most laid back dogs you could meet) but why put a muzzle on them all? Why punish all dogs cos a few people can't train or control theirs? PepsiiColla
  • Score: 0

1:45pm Sat 6 Oct 12

egghead65 says...

Stillness wrote:
egghead65 wrote:
should of been put down.it will keep thinking its top dog till it kills someone.the police shot a dog not to long ago for doing the same thing
Shame you missed out on an education.
Could you please explain why a "top dog" would only think that it is " top dog" until it kills someone? What do you know about dogs? What is a "top dog"? Why would a pack animal even want to be "top dog"?
Come on egghead (how ironic), try thinking before you type.
you dont know dogs then do you,you stupid little man.are you playing with yourself when you type something.well type on this
[quote][p][bold]Stillness[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]egghead65[/bold] wrote: should of been put down.it will keep thinking its top dog till it kills someone.the police shot a dog not to long ago for doing the same thing[/p][/quote]Shame you missed out on an education. Could you please explain why a "top dog" would only think that it is " top dog" until it kills someone? What do you know about dogs? What is a "top dog"? Why would a pack animal even want to be "top dog"? Come on egghead (how ironic), try thinking before you type.[/p][/quote]you dont know dogs then do you,you stupid little man.are you playing with yourself when you type something.well type on this egghead65
  • Score: 0

9:21pm Sun 7 Oct 12

jellybe says...

what a happy ending,im so glad the dog is safe.
what a happy ending,im so glad the dog is safe. jellybe
  • Score: 0

3:28pm Thu 11 Oct 12

Ulysses 31 says...

If ALL dogs should be muzzled because a few people cant control their dogs then ALL people should be banned from getting drunk as I have seen more violence and attacks caused by humans under the influence of alcohol than i have of anyone being attacked by a dog. In fact I have seen more attacks and violent behaviour by humans who are not even drunk, we are the dangerous ones! One thing i do agree with though is that dogs should be kept on leads, its safer for the dog and better for people who are nervous about dogs and I also think that someone should not be allowed to have a dog unless they can show they can and will control it. My mums guide dog is very well behaved and any dog can be like that if it is trained well.
If ALL dogs should be muzzled because a few people cant control their dogs then ALL people should be banned from getting drunk as I have seen more violence and attacks caused by humans under the influence of alcohol than i have of anyone being attacked by a dog. In fact I have seen more attacks and violent behaviour by humans who are not even drunk, we are the dangerous ones! One thing i do agree with though is that dogs should be kept on leads, its safer for the dog and better for people who are nervous about dogs and I also think that someone should not be allowed to have a dog unless they can show they can and will control it. My mums guide dog is very well behaved and any dog can be like that if it is trained well. Ulysses 31
  • Score: 0

4:09pm Fri 12 Oct 12

ottred says...

I can't understand why the echo feels the need to mention he was living in a caravan in chilworth, what does it matter where the caravan was parked up in relation to the story? Unless of course the dog was guarding the caravan...
I can't understand why the echo feels the need to mention he was living in a caravan in chilworth, what does it matter where the caravan was parked up in relation to the story? Unless of course the dog was guarding the caravan... ottred
  • Score: 0

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