'It was my identical twin' claims banned dog owner
A MAN whose Staffie mauled a postman blamed his identical twin brother when he was caught on CCTV with another dangerous dog.
Postman John Grainger, 62, needed reconstructive surgery on his face after Joseph Bower's Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Bruno, attacked him in Chelmsford city centre, in August last year.
Bowers, 49, of Chelmsford, was given a nine month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months, and banned indefinitely from owning a dog.
But on Thursday, Chelmsford Magistrates' Court was told Bowers was seen on CCTV walking a dog near the undercover market in the city on April 10.
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The CCTV operator alerted the police but, when an officer approached Bowers, he lied and said it must have been his "identical twin brother" who had been holding the dog.
He later admitted it was him in the film and pleaded guilty to breaching a court ban on him having custody of a dog.
In mitigation, Bower's counsel Paul Donnegan told the magistrates that his client had only been in custody of the animal for a short period of time.
He said: "This is about seven seconds he had custody of the dog. He is with another who has custody of the dog and the dog is unleashed, free at the side of the road where you cross to the market.
"Bowers picks up the dog's leash to stop him running out into the road and walks him across the road. It's as simple as that."
On August 11 last year, Bowers' unleashed Staffie ripped a chunk out of postman John Grainger's face and bottom lip as he stooped to unlock his bike on Duke Street at about 4.30pm.
He had been to the Civic Centre to collect his pass bus, as he was due to retire after 38 years as a postman just weeks later.
Bowers, of Murchison Close, then casually walked away from the scene without checking on the heavily-bleeding victim.
The attack left Mr Grainger needing reconstructive surgery, when surgeons at Broomfield Hospital rebuilt part of his face by using skin from behind the ear.
He required two operations – one to rebuild the area underneath his lip, which was completely missing, and one to save his lip.
Bowers has been bailed until July 19 and will appear at Chelmsford Crown Court for sentencing.