Louth woman assaulted two police officers in row over her assistance dog

A wheelchair-bound former vet was taken to the floor by police and handcuffed in an “unedifying” episode over her assistance dog.

Boston Magistrates' Court.

Carol Ann Hewson, 47, of Lindsey Way, Louth, hit an officer with the dog’s lead after they had released the Staffie cross and it ran out into the road on Louth, bringing traffic to a standstill.

District Judge Peter Veits said police could have handled the incident better as he sentenced Hewson to a 12-month conditional discharge.

She admitted assaulting police constables Karl Drewery and Kelly Farnell on September 25 last year.

Today (Wednesday), Boston Magistrates’ Court heard that Hewson was attending a GP surgery in James Street with the dog.

“Someone at the surgery made a report suggesting mistreatment by her or someone she was with,” said prosecutor Paul Wood, who told the hearing that Hewson was moving away from the surgery with the dog on a lead when officers arrived.

“PC Drewery set about his duty and said he would be seizing Mrs Hewson’s dog to see if it had been mistreated.

“Mrs Hewson was very upset about that, as people tend to be when told that their pets are being taken from them”.

Mr Wood told the court that Hewson swore at the officer as she told him that would not be happening.

The court was told that “things escalated” and – now with three officers present - there was a struggle as they got the dog off the lead, leaving Hewson holding it.

She then hit PC Drewery with it and tried to bite the arm of another officer who went to restrain her. It was then that Hewson was arrested for assault.

“The dog was now running loose in the road and traffic had stopped for it. It was all rather unedifying,” added Mr Wood.

“The dog ended up biting two police officers and a member of the public, but that was no fault of Mrs Hewson’s.”

Solicitor Gordon Holt, mitigating, said his client had been a veterinary nurse for 12 years before suffering a fall last May which left her permanently disabled.

He said her mental health suffered and it was suggested that she got an assistance dog to help her wellbeing and restricted sight.

Mr Holt said the dog had been left outside the surgery with another lady and the defendant had gone out after hearing a commotion. She had been in the process of putting a muzzle on her pet when police arrived.

He added: “She’s keen to say that she’s thoroughly ashamed about what she did and apologises for what she did to the officers.

“It is, I think, very much out of character.”

District Judge Veits told Hewson that assaults on emergency workers are treated very seriously and she should have dealt with the incident better but he accepted it was a “one-off”.

“Perhaps it could have been handled differently by the police as well,” he added. “Evidently, you lost it but then you shouldn’t have taken it out on the police.”

Hewson was ordered to pay £50 compensation to PC Drewery, who suffered minor injuries, and £25 to PC Farnell, who was not injured, as well as £85 costs and £21 victim surcharge.

The court was told that nothing came of the mistreatment allegation.