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Couple plead guilty to charges after dogs attacked and killed 90-year-old woman | The Border Mail

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The owners of three dogs that attacked a number of people on a NSW beach in 2020, resulting in the death of a 90-year-old woman, have pleaded guilty to charges of owning a dog which attacked a person. Adam Newbold, 38, and Candice Jane Bernhard, 31, both of North Nowra on the state’s south coast, did not attend Nowra Local Court on Wednesday to hear the charges, as they were suffering COVID, instead were represented by solicitor Brett Ford. Bernhard faces two charges and Newbold one, of owning a dog which attacked a person, charges that carry a maximum penalty of $11,000. IN OTHER NEWS: Despite court papers showing at least three people were attacked by the dogs on March 29, 2020 at the popular Jervis Bay Collingwood Beach on the NSW south coast, the couple are only charged over the attack on Ada Holland, known as ” Sally”, who due to her injuries and blood loss, suffered a cardiac arrest and could not be revived at the scene. Documents presented to the court said the couple were living in Berry Street, Vincentia at the time of the incident and owned four dogs, of American Staffordshire Terrier, Bull Mastiff and Bull Arab breeds, aged between seven-years and six months. Newbold owned the oldest dog, seven-year-old Brocky, while Bernhard owned Letty, 3, Calais, 18 months, and Buster, 6 months. Court papers said none of the three dogs were registered with Shoalhaven City Council, a fact the couple had been charged with previously, and only one had been microchipped. Mr Ford told the court at the time of the incident the couple were in the process of moving. Court papers said around 6.55am on March 29, 2020, Bernhard was in bed when Brocky, Callais and Letty escaped from the yard, running south along Berry Street and onto Collingwood Beach. A 79-year-old woman was walking along the beach alone at the time, was set upon by the three dogs, suffering bites to her hands, buttocks, thigh and lower legs and was pulled to the ground. Bernhard heard the dogs escape and went to look for them and heard the attack. She tried to intervene, but the dogs turned on her, biting her lower legs from her before she was able to scare the dogs off from her with her shoes, and they ran in a southerly direction. Bernhard helped the woman off the beach and contacted emergency services. The dogs then encountered Mrs Holland further down the beach, who was also walking alone, pulling the 90-year-old to the ground, attacking her lower legs and her arms. Mrs Holland’s daughter, Gloria, was also on the beach walking towards the attack and as she closed in on the site, the three dogs turned on her but she was able to fight them off with an umbrella she was carrying. They returned their attention to Mrs Holland, who was still lying on the beach unable to get up, and while the mauling continued, the final outcome was too graphic to report, but was described “as a frenzied attack”. Eventually, witnesses were able to scare the dogs off and despite attention by paramedics Mrs Holland died on the beach. The dogs were later captured with the assistance of Ms Bernhard and taken to the Shoalhaven City Council animal shelter, where a vet recorded they “were in a poor physical condition”. The dogs were later euthanized. A crime scene was also established at the Berry Street property and photographs taken of the gate through which the dogs escaped, police documents describing it as “completely inadequate” to secure three dogs the size and strength of those involved in the incident. Two of the other victims suffered significant injuries, hospitalization and surgery, with one requiring more than 80 stitches. Court papers also revealed the three dogs had escaped a week prior to the fatal attack and had rushed at a nearby neighbor while she was unloading groceries from her car, with a dog, believed to be Calais, biting her lower legs, ripping her jeans, resulting in bruising and slight grazing. That incident had been reported to Shoalhaven City Council and Rangers had attended the couple’s property and were advised the dogs could not escape again. Mr Ford said Ms Bernard, a mother of four, was extremely remorseful about the incident and had herself suffered significant injuries when the dogs turned on her while she tried to stop the attack, injuries which required hospitalization and surgery. “Ms Bernhard was aware the dogs had escaped and she had gone to look for them and she was attacked herself,” he said. “She suffered significant injuries to her lower legs. “She is clearly remorseful, when I’ve spoken to her numerous times about the incident she has been in tears and is greatly upset by the whole incident but knows she hasn’t suffered greatly because her name has not been in the public domain.” Unlike Mr Newbold, Mr Ford said, who had suffered numerous threats, including death threats, over social media and had “been released” from three separate jobs when his “employers discovered he was the subject of these matters”. “Mr Newbold was not present at the time the incident occurred,” Mr Ford said, but is also extremely remorseful and upset about how a dog he owned was “involved in such an incident”. couple both have underlying mental health issues, were both receiving Centrelink payments, therefore had a low income and have no great assets.Police prosecutor Andrew Kingston said although the offenses were of a serious nature, the only punishment available to Magistrate L Isabel Viney was by the way of ends. He offered to submit victim impact statements and a statement from Mrs Holland’s family, which Mr Ford objected to, and the Magistrate said would not be necessary. Mr Kingston also requested the Magistrate act under the Companion Animals Act and ban the couple from owning any dogs for five years. Magistrate Viney deferred her decision until Monday, May 9, saying she wanted to examine the Companions Animals Act. The incident is also set for an inquiry before the coroner’s court.


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