Dog avoids being put down after attack

An American bulldog similar to the breed which bit a security guard at Grand Arcade
An American bulldog similar to the breed which bit a security guard at Grand Arcade

A dog has narrowly avoided being put down after it attacked a security guard at a Wigan shopping centre.

The American bulldog crossbreed sank its teeth into the leg of retail security officer Anthony Holland at the Grand Arcade last October.

The dog, called Major, had become agitated after its owner Alistair McNish was escorted out of the centre for taking the pet inside, despite clear signage stating only guide dogs were permitted.

Holland and a fellow security guard were forced to wrestle McNish towards the exit doors after he ignored their request to leave, and instead went further into the centre.

Mr Holland, 37, said: “I felt a clamp around my leg. I looked down and saw the dog had bit me.”

McNish, whose address was not given, was found guilty of being in charge of a dangerous dog that was out of control and causing injury.

Representing himself at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court, McNish said: “I was in control of the dog at all times. It actually tried to back off when I was gripped from behind.

“The dog became scared and nipped him (Holland), but not through viciousness.”

But Mr Holland said: “I understand why your dog might have got hyper and want to defend its owner in that situation.

“But had you left when we asked you to, this wouldn’t have happened.”

McNish initially left Major tied up outside before going into the arcade.

He returned shortly after and untied the dog before re-entering the Grand Arcade, claiming he had left a receipt in Boots.

After reportedly being abusive to staff, Mr Holland grabbed him by the shoulder and again told him to leave.

A short scuffle then broke out as McNish was marched outside, at which point the dog lunged at Mr Holland.

McNish claimed the dog would not have attacked if he had not been manhandled.

But the prosecution told McNish: “There is only one person to blame for the dog bite - you. It was your conduct that led to this.”

Magistrates ordered that the dog, which is not a prohibited breed, should be destroyed if it is not muzzled and kept on a lead at all times in public within the next two months. McNish was also ordered to pay compensation of £250, and £250 to the Crown Prosecution Service.