Dad Matt Bolton who strangled Staffordshire bull terrier in Canterbury defends actions to protect children
Matt Bolton with his
Staffordshire bull terrier Princess
by Gerry Warren
A dad who strangled his "ferocious"
Staffordshire bull terrier as it attacked him says he is not the
heartless thug he has been made out to be.
Matt Bolton, 25, was this week
cleared by Canterbury magistrates of animal cruelty.
But despite being acquitted by the
court, which concluded his account of the incident had been
"entirely credible", he has faced a barrage of criticism.
He had been charged by the RSPCA with
inhumanely killing the dog, called Nellie, at his home in Alfred
Close, Canterbury, last May, where he was living with his wife
Donna, 30, and four daughters.
Now living in Mortimer Street, Herne
Bay, the dad-of-four today hit back at online criticism
- branding many of the comments posted by readers as "ignorant
He also fears Staffordshire bull
terriers are being unfairly typecast as dangerous when it is often
irresponsible owners who are at fault.
A carer for his wife, who suffers with
bi-polar disorder, he says the couple are dog lovers and, in
particular, passionate and knowledgeable about the Staffie
He said: "We took Nellie in from a
neighbour because she wasn't getting on with another dog he had and
we thought she might fit in better with ours.
"Everything was okay for the first few
weeks but then she started to fight with
"I was fearful for the safety of my children and could not afford to let her go because she was going for my throat" – Matt Bolton
our other Staffie
Princess, who was getting hurt badly.
"She was becoming increasingly
aggressive and we had to keep her in a cage in the house, which was
far from ideal for her.
"I am angry that all the agencies I
called, including the RSPCA, police, PDSA and the city council,
could not offer any help or support.
"In fact, the irony is that the RSPCA
told me that I could be in trouble for reporting I owned a
"On the day of the incident, she had
broken free and was attacking Princess again and I had to try and
break them up.
"She then turned on me and I was
literally fighting for my life. I was fearful for the safety of my
children and could not afford to let her go because she was going
for my throat.
"I was put in an extremely difficult
position and really had no choice - it was a horrible
"Donna and I both love dogs and the
Staffies we have had have all been lovely, gentle dogs and great
with our children.
"What happened was traumatic and
upsetting. Although I put her body in a wheelie bin, it was never
my intention for her to go out with the rubbish. I didn’t want
vermin getting at her and had planned to take her somewhere like a
vets to be disposed of."
- Click here for more Canterbury news...
- Click here for more news from across the county...