Attacked by loose dog in the park

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A DOG-owner has been ordered to pay compensation after her Staffordshire bull terrier attacked a man and his pet in an Alnwick park.

George Swordy had taken his Yorkshire terrier Bentley out for a walk at Swansfield Park on September 4, when he became aware of another dog running towards him.

As he tried to shield his own dog, the Staffordshire-cross – called Ozzy and belonging to Alison Thompson – seized Bentley by the back leg, before biting Mr Swordy on the thigh as he struggled to separate the pair.

Appearing at Alnwick Magistrates Court on Monday, 37-year-old Thompson, of Anson Court, Alnwick, denied allowing her dog to be dangerously out of control in a public place.

Mr Swordy told the court: “Bentley was on a lead. All of a sudden, I noticed a dog tearing towards us in an aggressive manner. I could see the owners in the distance.

“I pulled Bentley behind me to protect him, but before I could pick him up the dog latched on to his back leg with its great big jaws. It would have killed him in seconds, it was that strong and aggressive, so I kicked the dog to get it off. Once I got Bentley free of its jaws, it gave me a nip on the right thigh.”

Local government officer Thompson and her partner – who had attempted in vain to call off the dog – managed to attach a lead as Mr Swordy held it off with his foot.

Bentley had to be treated by a local vet, while Mr Swordy’s injury was said to be minor.

In her defence, Thompson claimed that Mr Swordy had been aggressive to her dog as it ran over to “say hello” to Bentley, saying he had provoked it to bite by lifting the terrier up by its lead “like a toy”. But cross-examined by prosecutor Jonathan Moore, she admitted that Ozzy hadn’t been on a lead and had failed to respond to her commands.

Finding Thompson guilty, the magistrates ordered her to pay the £152 vet’s bill and £450 prosecution costs, but relented from making a control order for Ozzy based on previous good character.