Man banned from owning dogs for 10 years after pet attacked woman and her dog

A man has been banned from keeping dogs for 10 years after his pet attacked a woman and her dog.

Graham Leigh, 44, was also told his whippet/greyhound would have to be destroyed following the incident in Fencehouses, near Houghton-le-Spring.

South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard the victim was walking her Highland Terrier, Toby, at an area known as the Rhubarb Field in May last year.

The court heard the woman’s dog was off the lead when she noticed another dog running towards her pet before it grabbed him and began “violently shaking him from side to side”.

Prosecutor Glenda Beck said the victim “tried to frantically break him freed from his grasp.

“At this time she was bitten by the dog and suffered an injury to the hand.”

The court heard the victim was eventually managed to break Toby free from the dog’s grasp.

Ms Beck added: “She was terrified, crying and screaming and frightened Toby was seriously injured.”

But as the victim tried to walk away carrying her dog, the whippet began “circling her and jumping up trying to attack Toby.”

The court heard the defendant appeared and tried to calm down his dog before saying: “The bolt was off the gate and it got out” and asked the woman for her contact details.

When she returned home, the woman contacted the police and attended Sunderland Royal Hospital for her injuries which included a puncture wound to the hand and bruising.

In a victim impact statement, the woman said: “This incident caused huge distress both emotionally and physically.”

Leigh, of Gladstone Street, Fencehouses, pleaded guilty to being the owner of a dog dangerously out of control causing injury.

The court heard the dog escaped from the garden after Leigh’s father visited the property and left the gate open.

Leigh spoke to the woman to check she was okay, was not abusive or argumentative and spoke to the police when they arrived and made no excuses, the court heard.

The court was told Leigh had a previous conviction for being the owner of a dog dangerously out of control from 2016, which was for a different animal.

Magistrates ordered Leigh to pay a £730 fine, gave a destruction order for the dog and banned him from owning dogs for 10 years.

Chronicle Live – Sunderland