Woman refuses to pay fine for walking dog on promenade

Michele Bicknell and Jake and the fixed penalty notice.
Michele Bicknell and Jake and the fixed penalty notice.

A woman who was given an £80 fixed penalty notice for walking her dog on the promenade without a lead is refusing to pay.

Michele Bicknell was walking her Jack Russell Jake across the promenade to get to the beach but was then stopped by dog wardens who demanded she pay an £80 fine.

Michele, from Morecambe’s West End, said: “It’s just a complete waste of money targeting responsible dog owners.

“I do intend to go to court about this, I am outraged.”

Michele refused to pay and says she was then pursued by a council official and two police officers.

She said: “The police came and pursued me along the promenade but I was on the beach out of the byelaw area.

“I’m not going to pay the fine but there is no right of appeal until I go to court.

“A lot of people are not aware of the byelaws or dog control orders.

“I think a lot of the public will support me and I intend to pursue it all the way.”

David Morris MP has hit out at what he deems Michele’s “unnecessary fine.”

Mr Morris has tabled a Parliamentary motion in the House of Commons calling on the city council to rescind the fine, stop wasting resources harassing responsible dog owners and put up better signage.

David said: “Michele and her small dog Jake were enjoying a winters walk when two Council officers and two Police officers pursued her.

“We ought to be encouraging people to visit the prom and to enjoy the wonderful view.”

Coun Karen Leytham, Cabinet member with responsibility for environmental health, said: “Dogs can still be exercised on the promenade but they must be on a lead - as indicated by regular signage along the promenade - as, by doing so, the owner can ensure their pet is under control.

“In this particular case the dog owner had been warned twice previously that her dog must be on a lead on the promenade and was fully aware of this requirement.

“As this was the third occasion, she was issued with a fixed penalty notice because she had failed to heed these previous warnings.

“Police assistance was requested because the owner ignored the polite request by the council’s officers to provide her name and address.”