Lazy owner 'walked' dog while driving car

A dog owner too lazy to walk his pet has lost his driving licence after getting caught walking the animal while driving his car.

Paul Railton, 23, of County Durham, had wound down the window of his Nissan Navara to exercise his lurcher when police caught him.

Officers reported seeing him driving at 5mph along a country lane in County Durham.

Yesterday, at Consett Magistrates' Court, Railton pleaded guilty to not being in proper control of a vehicle at about 2.20pm on December 4 in Stonyheap Lane, near Consett.

Sharon Lowrie, prosecuting, said a cyclist alerted police that two men were dragging a dog along from a car.

She said: "The driver was hanging onto the dog's lead through the driver window, approaching a blind summit."

Railton was told to put the dog in the back of the car and was allowed to go, but five days later police turned up at his home to charge him.

A police statement read out to the court said: "I explained the dangers to the other road users and that he was not in full control of the car.

"Due to the narrow road there was no area for other cars to pass."

Paul Donoghue, mitigating, said Railton had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

He said: "He accepts it was a silly thing to do and there was an element of laziness. He does not usually drive in a such a manner."

The court confirmed that Railton, who is unemployed, was fined £66 and ordered to pay £43 costs and a legal surcharge of £15.

He had three penalty points added to his licence and, because he already had nine, this meant he was banned from driving for six months.

After the hearing, Railton, of Wesley Terrace, Annfield Plain, Stanley, told The Journal: "It is a joke. I'm not bothered. I knew I'd get three points. I might save myself some money not having a car."

Last July Railton was one of five people that stood trial in connection with a shooting.

But the cases against Railton, three other men and a woman, were thrown out by a High Court judge.