Woman injured by out of control dog

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court

A woman suffered puncture wounds to her hands trying to protect her dog from a Staffordshire bull terrier, a court has heard.

Merrielle Hamilton was walking her Yorkshire terrier with her seven-year-old nephew along Car Bank Street, Atherton, when she noticed the dog, called Rosie, in the front yard of a house.

The dog ran at them and when she lifted her dog, Madison, the Staffie started jumping up at her in a bid to attack the smaller dog.

Tess Kenyon, prosecuting, said: “The dog got hold of the back left leg of the smaller dog and locked its jaw onto it. The weight of the staffie meant they all fell to the floor.

“She managed to get up and lifted her dog over her head while still shouting for help but the other dog jumped up again and again they fell to the floor.

“Rosie still had hold of her dog so she kicked and poked the dog in the eye to try and get it to let go. Her nephew came to assist and grabbed hold of the dog’s throat and it let go.

“She was covered in blood. The dog had really bad injuries to its leg and stomach. It wasn’t until she had cleaned up the dog that she realised she had puncture wounds to her hands.”

The court heard that the dog was taken to the vet and was treated for its injuries. The victim also required treatment to the seven puncture wounds on her hands, one of which required two stitches.

John Hook, 35, of Car Bank Street, pleaded guilty to owning a dangerously out of control dog causing injury at Wigan Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard that there had been a similar incident involving the same dog attacking a passerby’s dog 12 months before but Hook agreed to pay the excess on the complainant’s insurance and the police carried out a temperance check and concluded that Rosie was not aggressive.

Melissa Fagan, defending, said: “The defendant has told me the dog is not aggressive towards people but he clearly accepts the dog has been aggressive towards other dogs.

“This incident occurred four months ago, the police decided not to remove the dog and there have been no further incidents. He has also put measures in place to ensure that another incident cannot occur.

“The dog is no longer kept in the front garden, but in the back which is surrounded by a six foot high fence and a gate of the same height. When the dog is exercised outside the property it is kept on a lead and muzzled at all times.”

Hook was given a 12-month community order with 100 hours unpaid work and was also ordered to pay vet bills of £404.58, compensation of £400, a victim surcharge of £60 and costs of £85. A contingent destruction order was also put on the dog meaning she must be kept in the back yard and on a lead and muzzled when walked.