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Princess Anne faces court over dog attack

The Princess Royal has been ordered to appear in court after the her pet bull terrier allegedly attacked a couple in Windsor Great Park

Princess Anne and her husband Commodore Timothy Laurence have been summonsed to appear before magistrates after one of their English Bull Terriers allegedly attacked a person while walking in Windsor Great Park.

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: “We can confirm that the Princess Royal and Commodore Tim Laurence have received a summons to appear before the magistrates in due course.”

The attack is believed to have taken place earlier this year in July, when the royal couple were exercising their three Bull Terriers.

The exact details of the attack are unclear and there are several reports currently circulating about the incident.

It is unlikely that either the Princess or her husband will appear in person to enter a plea on Wednesday 9 October at East Berkshire Magistrate’s Court in Slough.

Bull Terriers were originally developed for dog and bull fighting in the 19th Century. The breed survived a ban on dog fighting because it was a handsome animal that made an excellent loyal companion.

Bull Terriers are not listed as a “dangerous dog” , but any canine considered to be a danger to the public can be dealt with by the act, which is why the couple are being summoned to answer the case under the provisions of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

The Dangerous Dogs Act states that:

“If it appears to the Secretary of State that dogs of any type to which section 1 above does not apply present a serious danger to the public he may by order impose in relation to dogs of that type.”

Under the Dangerous Dogs Act, the couple could face a £5,000 fine and six months in prison. The magistrate also has the power to order the dog to be destroyed and place a disqualification order onthe couple owning dogs.

The princess is the first member of the royal family to be charged with a criminal offence other than speeding.

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