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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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Dogs spared death sentence over attack in Cumbrian town

Two dogs have been spared a death sentence after their owner went to court to plead against their destruction.

Christopher Banks, of Kirkland Avenue, Wigton, was told to prove his dogs weren’t dangerous after they attacked two passing Jack Russells.

Carlisle Magistrates’ Court heard how a 15-year-old boy was walking past Banks’ home on August 22 when the two Staffordshire type bull dogs ran at his pets, grabbing one around the neck and biting its body, and the second Jack Russell was heard squealing. The teenager tried to pull one of the terriers off his pet, but its jaws were locked on to the smaller dog, and the boy was bitten on his hand.

The injured dog was taken to a vet with numerous puncture wounds. It had to undergo an operation, and the boy was also advised to be treated by a doctor.

Magistrates were handed a written report prepared by a dog behavioural expert who had gone to see the dogs – Po and Peria – in their home.

He took them for a walk around the estate and had “no problems with their behaviour with members of the public”, the court heard.

The court was told the dogs showed no aggression to each other and he tested their competitiveness and said they were not aggressive dogs.

At a previous court hearing, Tariq Khawam, defending, said Banks was extremely sorry for the incident and concerned for the young boy who was injured.

Magistrates told Banks they would respect the expert’s findings and issued a contingency order, meaning the dogs must be muzzled in public, kept on a lead and under the control of someone over 18 and be kept in a secure place and neutered.

Banks was told the dogs could be destroyed if the conditions weren’t adhered to.

He previously admitted two offences of having a dog that was dangerously out of control in a public place.

He was given a one-year community order with 120 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £200 compensation to the boy, plus a £190 vets bill and £85 court costs.

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