A 74-year-old man was attacked by a STAFFORDSHIRE BULL TERRIER and hospitalised for four days while trying to rescue his King Charles Cocker Spaniel, a court has heard.
Charlie Chappel, 18, of Carr Grove, Kirkby, indicated a guilty plea to being in charge of a dog that was dangerously out of control when he appeared in court on June 26. Neil Fawcett, prosecuting, said the victim had been walking his dog Muffin in Portland Park on May 21 when the black coloured Staffie stopped and began snarling.
“It ran at speed towards him and dived towards Muffin. He swung Muffin up and held him above his head. “The black dog jumped up and grabbed his left sleeve and was hanging on.” The sleeve ripped and the dog fell to the ground, he said, then sank its teeth into his left calf muscle and began to pull.
“He describes the pain as immense. He fell to the ground and hit his head.” At this point Chappel and his friend, who was walking another dog, ran over and tried to help.
Chappel shouted: “Don’t hit him, it will make him worse.” Another passerby helped them to pull the dog away.
The court heard the victim was in hospital for four days with ‘multiple puncture marks which bled’, a series of scrapes and abrasions and bruising. In a statement he said: “I feel so anxious being around other dogs. I feel so upset about what could have happened.”
Rebecca Williams, mitigating, said Chappel, a student with no previous convictions, had been walking the dog, called Denzel, for his brother. “There had been no previous issues and he had no reason to believe that there was any cause for concern,” she said.
Mr Fawcett said the law called for the dog’s destruction, unless the court could be satisfied that it doesn’t pose a risk to public safety. Animal behaviour expert Dr Kendal Shepherd told magistrates the dog was not an immediate risk to the public. Chappel was given a 12 month community order with 80 hours of unpaid work. He was told to pay costs of £85 and £200 compensation.
Magistrates ruled that Denzel should wear a fixed lead no more than 6ft long and a collar with a muzzling action in a public place. It was also placed on a contingent destruction order, which means if it attacks again, it will be destroyed.