Dog owner charged after attack

The owner of an adult pitbull has been charged after police say the dog attacked and bit his 3-year-old nephew on the face resulting in a 6cm gash under the boy's right eye.

Arron James Kohu, 41, who appeared in Tauranga Community Magistrates' Court today, faces a charge of being the owner of a dog which causes injury, which has a maximum sentence of three years imprisonment.

Police say the dog, which was tied up on a long chain, attacked the boy at Kohu's Waikari Rd address on March 27 while the toddler was playing near the animal on the back lawn.

The Hastings boy, who was visiting the property at the time, was treated at Tauranga Hospital.

The dog was seized and remains in the dog pound pending the outcome of the court case.

Through a duty lawyer Kohu sought interim name suppression until his next court appearance on the basis that publication of his name and the details of the charge would have a serious impact on his sick mother who lives with him.

Police opposed the application.

Community Magistrate Sherida Cooper refused the suppression request saying that any upset and embarrassment was a natural consequences of any court appearance.

Kohu was remanded at large to obtain legal aid and further legal advice.

His next court appearance is in Tauranga District Court on May 16 when he is expected to enter a plea to the charge.

- By Sandra Conchie of the Bay of Plenty Times

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