Devastated dog owner launched a tirade of threats at driver

A devastated dog owner who launched a tirade of threats against a driver who ran over and killed his £1500 pedigree pup after the man refused to stump up cash to reimburse the loss has avoided a jail term.

Wednesday, 1st March 2017, 2:58 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:10 am
Dundee Sheriff Court
Dundee Sheriff Court

Jonathon Simpson’s family had only had the expensive pet for three months when David Irvine ran over it on a rural road in Fife after the dog escaped from a garden.

The driver initially said the family - who had bought the dog for Simpson’s daughter - should claim compensation through his employer’s insurance.

But when Simpson contacted the unnamed firm they refused to get involved and told him to contact Mr Irvine.

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Later Simpson spotted Irvine driving near his home - and began a sustained tirade of threats and abuse.

A sheriff told Simpson he was guilty of making “nasty and sustained” demands during the incident.

Fiscal depute Trina Sinclair told Dundee Sheriff Court that Simpson had demanded upwards of £2000 in compensation from Mr Irvine when he launched his tirade.

He then shouted at the driver before threatening to damage property as he demanded the money.

Miss Sinclair said: “Eventually he agreed to pay £98 towards the cremation costs of the puppy.”

Simpson, of Auchtermuchty, Fife, pleaded guilty to a charge of behaving in a threatening and abusive manner committed on November 4 last year.

Defence solicitor Katrina Clark said: “The daughter had been bought a pedigree puppy that cost £1500 and they had had it for around three months.

“Around two weeks before this incident the complainer had run over the puppy and the dog was killed.

“Discussions between the complainer and the driver of the van took place and he accepted full responsibility and liability and said they should claim for their loss through the company’s insurers.

“But the company said it wasn’t a matter for them and referred him back to the driver.

“The accused phoned and asked for insurance details but Mr Irvine hung up on my client.

“On the date of the offence he was driving to his mother’s home when he came across the complainer in his van and this incident occurred.

The death of the puppy would have caused considerable stress to the family and the child was very upset.

“He accepts he conducted himself in a manner he shouldn’t have.”

Sheriff Simon Collins QC imposed a community payback order with 200 hours unpaid work as a direct alternative to a prison sentence.

He said: “This comes down to a nasty and sustained piece of demanding money with menaces.

“There is no justification for the behaviour.”