A 54-year-old man has been prosecuted for dangerous cycling after he was seen riding down the road with his German Shepherd dog tied to his bike.
Blackburn magistrates heard Ian John Frankland failed to stop when challenged by a police officer who had to run after him and physically stop his bike. And he refused to give his name and address as he had seen a senior police officer on Breakfast TV saying he didn’t have to if he hadn’t committed an offence.
Frankland, of Central Avenue, Clitheroe, pleaded not guilty to dangerous cycling, riding a pedal cycle on a public road and failing to stop when directed by a uniformed police officer and failing to give his name and address. He was convicted after trial and fined £260 and ordered to pay £340 towards prosecution costs.
PC John Scorah told the court he was driving along Mitton Road, heading out of Whalley, when he saw Frankland cycling towards him. Frankland was close to the kerb but his dog was near to the central white line and there was a queue of cars behind him.
“I had never seen anything like it in 25 years of policing,” said PC Scorah. “I stopped and shouted out of my window for him to stop.”
PC Scorah said the dog was nearly in the centre of the road: “There is no way a dog should be running or walking down the centre of the road, let alone tied to a bicycle,” said PC Scorah. “If there had been a reaction to a cat or a person or anything like that the consequences could have been catastrophic.”
PC Scorah got out of his van and had to run after Frankland and take hold of his bike to make him stop. He said Frankland tried to push past him to cross the road and he had to physically force him onto the grass verge on his side of the road.
“He pulled out a camcorder and started filming me talking to him,” said PC Scorah.
The officer asked for Frankland’s details and when he failed to provide them warned him he would have no option but to arrest him. Frankland, his dog and his bike were eventually put in the back of PC Scorah’s van. The officer said Frankland only gave an address when he said the dog would be put in kennels or taken to the police station.
He said he continued to say to Frankland that the matter could be dealt with by way of a summons if Frankland gave him his details.
“I didn’t want to arrest him and would probably have dealt with the whole matter with a caution if he had co-operated,” said PC Scorah.
Frankland claimed there was no way the dog could have been in the middle of the road asthe harness he was using was too short. He produced a video of a dog on a harness, but accepted it was not the one he had been using on the day. He claimed he had thrown that one away the day after the offence.
Frankland claimed he had been body searched in the back of the van, during which PC Scorah grabbed his testicles, his bike had been smashed up and PC Scorah and a second officer who attended had wiped the footage off his camcorder.
Mr Dominic Howells (prosecuting) suggested Frankland was alleging sexual assault, criminal damage and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice against the officers.
“You are saying they have lied in their statements and lied in court today, all for a cycling matter,” said Mr Howells. He said it was a pity Frankland hadn’t kept the device which secured the dog to his bike.
“You seem to have taken this matter very seriously and produced video footage from your home and footage of a reconstruction,” said Mr Howells.
“However, the day after the incident you say you threw away a crucial piece of evidence.”