A man, has successfully defended himself at Fermanagh Magistrates Court against charges of dog fouling.

John Doran of Crevenish Park, Kesh was acquitted by District Judge Michael Ranahan who said when passing judgement that he was giving the defendant the “benefit of the doubt”.

Barrister Ciaran Roddy, for the prosecution, called a dog warden to the stand who gave evidence that he and a colleague had seen Doran walking with two dogs towards Kesh on the outskirts of the village on December 17, last year.

The witness stated that they observed one of the dogs defecating on the grass verge and the defendant then walking on towards the village without attempting to clean up the dog fouling.

The court heard how the defendant was then approached by the colleague of the witness and that a conversation ensued with Doran.

The witness went on to explain that 15 minutes after the incident Doran returned from the direction of Kesh and “appeared to use what looked like a crisp packet” to lift the dog faeces.

The witness then claimed that Doran had “shaken the packet” in the direction of he and his colleague who were sitting in their vehicle.

Defending himself, Doran asked the witness if he had observed him patting down the back pockets of his trousers as if looking for a plastic bag immediately after his dog had fouled.

The witness said he did not observe this.

Doran himself then took the stand where he gave his version of events. He stated that he had on previous occasions always carried plastic bags with him when walking his dogs but that on this occasion he had not because he had put on fresh trousers that morning.

He said that when he was approached by the warden he had explained that he was going tot he shop and was going to clean up the dog faeces on his way back. Doran asserted that the warden “didn’t want to hear any of this”.

Doran went on to say that he was a “lover of the countryside” and would never “leave a mess” that was made by one of his dogs. He also produced a letter of good character to the court which the Judge read.

In conclusion Mr Roddy argued that the time that elapsed before Doran cleaning up the dog faeces was long enough as to bring about a conviction.

Judge Ranahan, however, sided with the defendant’s version of events.

“I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt. I don’t think that you had any intention of leaving the dog foul where it was.”