- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 15, 2013

The jig’s up, Jack — Jack Russell, that is. At least, that was very nearly the fate of an ex-policeman’s dog, a 5-year-old Jack Russell cross breed that was accused of biting a jogger’s leg and subsequently identified as the perpetrator in a photograph lineup of suspicious-looking pooches.

Lucky for the dog, the judge found the witness identification a bit shaky, and dismissed the case, The Mercury reported.

This week’s hearing in Magistrate’s Court in Hobart, a small Australian community, stemmed from a February incident. That’s when runner Andrea Clarke said she was bitten by former police officer Murray Richards’ dog, a Jack Russell cross, while jogging on the streets about 6:45 p.m. She later identified the dog from a photograph lineup of various pooches provided by the local animal control department. Some of the photos showed dogs that were well-known offenders, the report said.

Ms. Clarke also said she wasn’t that familiar with dog breeds. And that statement came back to bite her in court, when Mr. Richards denied his dog was the at-fault party and pointed the finger at a similar-looking stray.

The judge then ruled that eyewitness testimony was often inaccurate in cases involving human suspects, never mind dogs. She said she couldn’t rule that the Jack Russell was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, so dismissed the case.

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