Princess pleads guilty to dog offense

Friday, November 22, 2002

LONDON -- Princess Anne pleaded guilty Thursday to allowing her "placid, playful" English bull terrier to run loose and attack two children. She is the first member of the royal family in modern times to be convicted of a criminal offense.

Anne, the only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II, was fined $785 and ordered to pay $393 in compensation for violating the Dangerous Dogs Act.

But a judge spared the life of the bull terrier, Dotty, ordering her to undergo training and wear a leash in public places.

The children's family said the decision "is neither moral nor just."

"We do not think justice has been done," they said in a statement. "The dog is still free and is a danger to society."

District Judge Penelope Hewitt warned that the dog would have to be destroyed if it misbehaved again.

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