A commercial dog walker locals had to "avoid" has been banned from council parks.

Paul Kingston, known locally as ‘Bob’, will no longer be able to walk dogs in the Three Rivers area for 10 years and has been ordered to pay £2,500 by St Albans Magistrates’ Court.

Three Rivers District Council received complaints about Mr Kingston in June 2021, after he walked more than four dogs from large breeds such as German shepherds and Labradors at South Oxhey Playing Fields.

The pets were allowed to run free off their leads, which intimidated other people walking their dogs, but when asked to put the dogs on leads the commercial walker was reportedly “aggressive, rude and intimidating”.

Mr Kingston denied the allegations but fellow parkgoers apparently felt forced to change their route to avoid him.

The resident of Hillview Road, Hatch End, was issued a Community Protection Notice after ignoring all correspondence from the council, which prohibited him being in charge of dogs in the area as well as accompanying another person walking dogs associated with his business.

He remains free to walk in the area without dogs.

Mr Kingston appealed the notice but was unsuccessful as Deputy District Judge Booty sitting at the magistrates’ court found against him on December 5.

Watford Observer:

Based on the council’s evidence, the judge found that Mr Kingston’s behaviour was unreasonable, following a large number of complaints. The judge also found that Mr Kingston’s conduct was having a detrimental effect on other dog walkers and was persistent in nature.

Three Rivers District Council associate director for customer and community Emma Sheridan said: “This is an excellent result.

“We want all of our wonderful parks and open spaces to be enjoyed by everyone and the court’s decision sends a strong message that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated.

“The council is committed to the promotion of responsible dog ownership and will take action against those who fail to keep dogs under their supervision under control.

“We are delighted the court agreed and dismissed this appeal.”