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Byron Shire
March 26, 2023

Owner of attack dog could face jail

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The owner of a dangerous dog that mauled a woman at Byron Bay’s Roadhouse café could face up to five years in prison and a $77,000 fine after pleading guilty to charges in Byron Bay local court on Thursday.

Adam Coates was charged with ‘owner of menacing dog not comply’ after his mastiff dog bit a 30-year-old woman at the café in July.

The victim had to undergo reconstructive surgery in Gold Coast University Hospital after the dog bit her on the nose.

Byron Shire Council’s legal services coordinator, Ralph James, told Echonetdaily at the time that ‘the dog had previously been declared menacing and as a result of the owner’s failure to comply with one or more of the menacing dog control requirements, which facilitated the attack, legal proceedings have commenced.’

He said the dog should have been muzzled and on a lead.

The animal was euthenised following the attack.

Mr Coates will be sentenced on September 4.

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  1. A gaol sentence would send a strong message to owners of large breeds that they have a responsibility to ensure that the general public are kept safe.

    Better still. Lets do away with large and hunting breeds by treating them as a restricted breed at birth.

    It is only a matter of time before another attack by a dog in these categories will result in injury or even death.

    Enough is enough.

  2. As a non dog owner I have to say that I am sick of having my breakfast coffee with dogs. I mean really, when did it become mandatory to take your dog to cafe/restaurants? We who are not dog owners dare not even comment for fear of having our heads bitten off by the owners of the dear little canines. I have observed several cafe owners rolling their eyes and shrugging as the dear little pets, knock into people in their enthusiasm to either be fed or have a go at other dear little pets. If one is brave enough to risk owner attack by commenting, invariable they reply, ‘Fido’ is fine he has never bitten anyone, ……yet.

  3. I have to say I agree with Anne Celeste and I have a small dog.
    Some mornings it is absolutely mayhem at the cafe and not at all relaxing for the customers, owners or dogs!
    I’ve taken to leave my dog at home if I have a cafe appointment!

  4. The type of dog responsible for this attack is capable of running down and killing a grown man in eight bites. Why is this type of breed legal in Australia? It’s illegal for me to swagger around town with a machete or a gun or a pet lion, so why are these types of breeds legal in Australia? (I would not want to do any of these things anyway.) What type of person wants to own such a dog? How can one be a proprietor of a so called health conscious cafe yet put your employees and customers in such grave danger?!


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