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Cyclist prosecuted for being towed down the road by his German Shepherd

Queue of traffic behind cyclist as dog tows him near the central line

A man who refused to stop being towed down the middle of the road on his bike by his dog has been prosecuted for ‘dangerous cycling’.

Ian John Frankland, 54, refused to stop when a police officer told him to get off the road. According to a police report he was near the kerb, but his German Shepherd was running close to the central white line and traffic was building up.

“I had never seen anything like it in 25 years of policing,” said PC John Scorah, according to the Clitheroe Advertiser. “I stopped and shouted out of my window for him to stop.”

At Blackburn Magistrates Court, Frankland 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 fined £260 and ordered to pay £340 costs.

“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.”

The officer was unable to get Frankland to stop, so had to run after him and physically stop him. Frankland then refused to give his name and address, while filming the confrontation on a camcorder.

“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.

At court, Frankland showed a video of a dog on a harness, saying it was too short to have allowed the dog to be in the middle of the road. Later he accepted it was not the one he had been using on the day - which he said he had immediately thrown away after the incident.

He also alleged he was sexually assaulted in the police van, but the prosecution refuted the claims, saying: “You are saying they have lied in their statements and lied in court today, all for a cycling matter.”

Late last year, we reported that a man in Carlisle had been fined for £55 dangerous cycling – after being spotted by a police officer riding his bike with his young daughter perched on his shoulders.

Carlisle Magistrates’ Court was told that the man was seen cycling “at high speed” on a path.

The man, aged in his 20s, pleaded not guilty and insisted that he did not believe his actions to be dangerous, but his defence was rejected.

Besides the fine imposed by magistrates, the defendant also has to pay a £20 victim surcharge as well as £100 in prosecution costs.

Under section 28 of the Road Traffic Act 1991, "a person is to be regarded as riding dangerously if (and only if) (a) the way he rides falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful cyclist, and (b) it would be obvious to a competent and careful cyclist that riding in that way would be dangerous."

The offence carries a maximum penalty of a £2,500 fine.

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