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Patrick Houle and his lawyer Bernard Raymond.(Archive photo)
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Judge Conrad Chapdelaine ruled. Patrick Houle, found guilty of two counts of criminal negligence causing injury after his dogs attacked two women from Val-des-Sources in 2021, sentenced to 240 hours of community service.
Judge Chapdelaine did not agree with the Crown's proposal to prevent him from owning dogs for three years. Instead, in addition to community service, he orders that he pay $5,000 to an organization that cares for victims of crime.
Patrick Houle will also not be able to have more than two dogs, and will have to follow strict rules: they must always be kept on a leash in public places, for example.
Everyone must have their dogs on a leash, but if Mr. Houle doesn't keep his dogs on a leash, it will be a criminal offense, explained the prosecutor for criminal and penal prosecutions, Me François Houle, leaving the courtroom.
The trial of Patrick Houle was held last September at the Sherbrooke courthouse.
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Recall that on the morning of the incident in August 2021, Patrick Houle left the gate of his company open so that its employees can come to work.
His five Danes, who acted as guard dogs, took the opportunity to go out on the cycle path adjacent to the company. They pursued a group of five walkers. Two women, Micheline Beaulieu and Jacqueline Sévigny, tripped and were bitten on the arms and legs.
In his judgment, Judge Chapdelaine indicated that the danger was perfectly foreseeable in the eyes of a reasonable person and that Patrick Houle was a person who did not care about the safety of others.
The consequences of this carelessness materialized on August 31, 2021, he added.< /p>
Owning dogs comes with responsibilities, especially own several large dogs.
A quote from Judge Conrad Chapdelaine
The judge wanted to insist on Mr. Houle's accountability, therefore to ensure that every hour he does, he will think about the behavior he had with his dogs, says Me François Houle.
For the victims, the sentence was “a lot to receive,” adds the prosecutor.
They will need time to digest the sentence, but they are happy that the message has been sent that you have to be responsible with your dogs.
A quote from Me François Houle, criminal and penal prosecutor
L& #x27;defense lawyer, Me Bernard T. Raymond, thinks that his client could appeal the sentence. He says he is concerned about the ramifications of such a ruling on future dog-related complaints.
If you look at the The potential impact that this could have on thousands of dog owners in Quebec is a decision that cannot but be appealed.
A quote from Me Bernard T. Raymond, defense lawyer.
He adds that his client disagrees with the sentence, but that he is calm about the evidence he presented in court.
With information from Emy Lafortune