Robinson 'unhappy' with Lennox decision

Published Wednesday, 13 June 2012
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First Minister Peter Robinson has told supporters of a campaign to save a pitbull terrier-type dog from being put down that he is powerless to intervene, despite being "unhappy" with the outcome of a legal battle.

Robinson 'unhappy' with Lennox decision
Lennox was seized by dog wardens two years ago. (© Pacemaker)

Belfast dog owner Caroline Barnes took the case of her dog Lennox to the most senior judges in Northern Ireland, in a bid to have a destruction order overturned.

The long-running case has already been heard by two lower courts in the last two years, with the rulings going against Ms Barnes each time.

Tuesday's appeal was her final chance to save Lennox, but Lord Justice Girvan agreed with the County Court judge's ruling that the dog could not be made safe and must be destroyed.

DUP leader Peter Robinson was among those inundated with requests to intervene by thousands of supporters from around the world, who have signed online petitions over the case - including one to boycott Belfast.

But using the Twitter hashtag #SaveLennox, he tweeted: "We are bound by the principle of the separation of powers. Politicians have no power to interfere with decisions of the courts."

But he admitted that, as a dog lover, he was unhappy about the outcome and said he had been involved in a similar case in Castlereagh - where he served as a councillor for more than 30 years.

"In the Castlereagh case, we succeeded in stopping it going to court. As soon as it does, it is out of the hands of politicians," Mr Robinson tweeted.

He later added in response to a challenge on his inability to intervene: "It's not a political view. It's a legal fact."

Lennox, now aged seven, was seized by Belfast City Council dog wardens two years ago.

His owner has since acknowledged that the dog is a pitbull-type, but legal counsel for Ms Barnes had been arguing that the dog has never bitten anyone and has behaved well since being impounded.

© UTV News
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65 Comments
dan in uk wrote (742 days ago):
Just remember people, all the negative comments on here are from troll's who just want to provoke a reaction from you. The best way to deal with a troll is to just ignore it, they hate it and soon go away.
Vic in Belfast wrote (768 days ago):
Whats wrong with getting a nice dog rather than one of these monsters. I know someone will say all dogs have the potential to bite but you don't have to shoot a poddle 3 times to get it off. Make all dog owners do a test of proficiancy inspect thier homes, a good pet store wont let you take a fish home before thay are satisfied you can look after it.
Marie in Ireland wrote (768 days ago):
To Rose Wynn. This was before it all went to courts. Lennox's owners were offered an option to let him be adopted in Southern Ireland but they refused-and surely you know that Southern and Northern Ireland are two different countries with their own governments? I wish you kept Southern Ireland out of this as our government hasn't done anything wrong for Lennox. I only feel sorry for Lennox who is rotting in that prison and doesn't understand why. This dog should be released immediately or then pts.
Tuula Vilppu in Sweden wrote (768 days ago):
Please! Enough is enough.WHO is the winner here,and why? this is nothing but animal cruelty? Isthis howyou make a "sick" dog healthy again,lock them in? Free Lennox now,this is a big scandal to lock in a dog, and away from his family.Lennox need love, his familys love.Lennox is love.Please,Free Lennox.Listen to your heart, and most of all. listen to Lennox family.Enough of all this suffering now
Belfast Dog Owner in Belfast wrote (769 days ago):
Why wasn’t he interested in drafting proper legislation? This is after a recent bill where he and all parties passed sub-standard legislation. This is another political failure. Tomc: I can feel sorry for Lennox and owners. Sorry for the families of the dead police officers Ronan Kerr, Stephen Carroll as well as Peadar Heffron and all others injured. Sorry for Marion Price and her family and other dissidents harassed for not humming the right tune about the peace process I can also feel sorry for Jean McConville and her family and all victims everywhere and still highlight this issue. In the same stroke I can feel sorry for all loyalist and republican dead and even for their killers. It can’t be nice walking around with that hanging over you. There is much to feel sorry about, but political failures of all kinds create disengagement which creates more sorrow for everyone. This was a political failure! Not supporting the NI Assembly (I Don’t) does not equate to wanting to murder everyone. It means I can see it is not delivering for people on issues and needs scrapped or reformed so it includes all voices, even dissenting voices.
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