A PENSIONER has hit out at a security firm after he was slapped with £100 penalty notice for walking his dog, saying it should not have been issued.

Retired civil servant Jim McCaughey, 71, said after the incident in Rhyl: “I felt very intimidated. I’m not a well man.

"My wife thought I was going to collapse when I arrived home.”

Mr McCaughey said the officials from Kingdom Security approached him in a van after he had been walking his border terrier, Austin, on a footpath running through Rhyl High school.

He said: "I saw people in a van taking pictures. I didn't realise they were photographing me.

"They watched me leave through the Grange Road side and waited for me to walk back on myself before they chased me down in a van.

“I’m a law-abiding dog owner who has been walking there for 10 years."

A sign, positioned about eight-foot high on a lamp-post, six feet from the Grange Road entrance, was put up as part of Denbighshire County Council's (DCC) control of dogs public spaces protection order (PSPO), launched in September last year.

However, the poor visibility of the sign and the lack of signage prohibiting dog walkers at school's Pendyffryn North and Bridgegate Road entrances have been problematic.

And notes of guidance for the PSPO state: "Every location in Denbighshire subject of the PSPO will have signs clearly displayed in sufficient numbers in the immediate area describing the restriction and the consequences if ignored."

It also says: "It is permissible to walk your dog under control on a public footpath that runs through educational property."

Mr McCaughey added: "I don’t understand why they can’t let us know what the law is and give us proper warning.

“I didn’t even know there was a sign until they walked me back and showed me where it was."

Town and county councillor Brian Blakeley, whose town authority ward is Tynewydd, where the incident happened, spoke up for Mr McCaughey.

He said: “While I am totally against anyone allowing their dog to create mess, responsible dog owners don’t know whether they are coming or going.

“You can’t expect the elderly to look up every lamp-post to be sure they can walk their dog.

"If we’re going to put up signs, they have to be done properly – not postage stamp-sized.

“I am being told the gentleman’s fine will not be upheld because of this.”

David Roberts, a resident of County Drive, also spoke up in support of Mr McCaughey, saying: "If you look at the guidance notes, they tell you you can walk your dog on a public footpath.

"The council are just contradicting themselves. There aren't any signs on the gate I use."

A Denbighshire County Council spokesman said: “We are aware of a concern from a resident.

"However we cannot comment on fixed penalty notices issued to any member of the public.

"One of the main aspects of the PSPO is that dogs are prohibited from all educational properties.

"This information is available from the council’s website and has been publicised widely in the local press, wider media and online.”

“We have installed 600 signs across Denbighshire. Circumstances of every individual case is assessed under its own merit.

"We are examining the status of the route through Rhyl High School and will be looking into this further.”