Homeless man 'screamed at dog'

PUBLISHED: 10:55 14 August 2008 | UPDATED: 07:04 30 May 2010

I M writing to you in response to the story in this week s Broadcast regarding the two homeless men living in woods in Dunmow. I was involved in an incident with one of them the week before last which rather counters their claims that they wish to be acc

I'M writing to you in response to the story in this week's Broadcast regarding the two homeless men living in woods in Dunmow.

I was involved in an incident with one of them the week before last which rather counters their claims that they wish to be accepted as quiet, law-abiding citizens.

Myself and another local business owner followed the pair and their beautiful Staffordshire Bull Terrier (which was off the lead) up New Street one afternoon, to see it wander into the road in front of cars driving towards the High Street.

This lead to one of them having to move the dog on to the pavement in front of the church in New Street, at which point he grabbed the dog by the face and began screaming into its face.

With the dog cowering on the pavement he began yelling that if the dog ever ran into the road again he would "f**king kill" it.

He continued in this vein for some time, at which point we had stopped outside the council car park where my friend had parked. A Staffie owner myself, I was extremely concerned at the way in which he was treating the dog and shouted at him to let him know that we had seen what he was doing (in fact the only word I shouted was 'Oi' - not overly aggressive, nor provocative in my mind).

He immediately turned to the pair of us, shouting that it was none of our "f**king business", that he hadn't "f**king hit the dog" and that if we didn't mind our own that he would come back and "f**king drop the f**king pair" of us.

At no point did we respond - we simply stood our ground and watched until he had screamed again at the dog, grabbed it and continued down New Street with his friend.

I was sufficiently angered by his actions that I reported the incident to the Dunmow station. The police acted immediately and dealt with the situation extremely well, phoning me that evening to let me know that they had visited the pair in the woods and cautioned them.

During the course of our conversation the officer also informed me that in the preceding fortnight they had cause to arrest the pair no less than three times and were well aware of their general behaviour.

All this suggests that the claims of wanting to live a peaceable life in Dunmow until they can afford to by a house here is somewhat disingenuous.

I'm not one to judge people I don't know on the basis of their accommodation status, nationality or social background, I'd rather take people as I find them.

But when I find someone aggressive, threatening and given to the mistreatment of animals there's no other option than to call attention to what they're doing.

As to your interviewee's assertions that one of them is a dog trainer, I'm not sure. Judging by the methods of the guy I had the run-in with, he could do with a week or two at Dog Borstal, never mind his Staffie...

Jordan McLachlan, address supplied

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