A dog in the care of a man on trial for the death of a woman mauled to death by dogs in a Yeroskipou field had bitten a young child about a year earlier, the Paphos Criminal Court heard on Friday.
Marios Panayiotou has pleaded not guilty to the charge of manslaughter and causing death by negligence.
He has also pleaded not guilty to failing to taking the necessary precautions with an animal that could cause injury or death but has pleaded guilty to owning dogs without a dog licence.
Petrana Milchova Nikolova, 46, died of injuries believed to have been caused by two dogs belonging to the defendant.
The injuries were initially attributed to an agricultural accident. But later post-mortems– a total of five were held on the victim– determined that she had died from dog bites. Police believed that she was attacked by two Rottweilers.
Yiorgos Polyviou, who manages futsal facilities in the area told the court that a dog belonging to the defendant had bitten a boy who was training on the pitch.
He also identified the dogs from photographs shown to him by counsel for the prosecution Andreas Hadjikyrou.
The witness told the court that the dogs were wandering around outside the fenced futsal pitch. Thinking that the dogs were friendly, the children opened the gate and let them in, he told the court.
As they played with the dogs, one of them bit one of the boys on the leg and he was taken to Paphos Hospital where he needed seven stitches.
Defence lawyer Elias Stephanou said that one of the dogs belonged to the defendant. But the dog which bit the boy was not his but had been brought to the defendant’s premises for a short period of five days.
And he said that before the dogs were allowed in, one of the children had been kicking the fence.
The defendant had spoken to the mother who described the incident as ;unfortunate’ according to the defence lawyer and given her money for medical costs. The mother had said at the time that her child was ‘lively’, he added.
The defendant is free on bail and has handed in his travel documents. He also needs to report to the police station daily.
His dogs must wear a muzzle and be on a leash.