Beds, Herts & Bucks

Dog owner in Bedfordshire banned over attack on girl, 9

The owner of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier that attacked and bit a nine-year-old girl in Bedfordshire has been banned from keeping dogs for 10 years.

John Shallow, 40, from Mayfield Road, Dunstable, pleaded guilty at Luton Crown Court to owning a dog which caused injury while out of control.

Judge Michael Kay QC said: "It was extremely painful and frightening for her leaving a nasty gash and scarring."

Shallow was given a 12-week prison sentence suspended for a year.

He must also do 150 hours unpaid work and pay £500 compensation.

After the incident on 28 May this year Shallow told police he had had concerns about the dog's temperament but the supplier had refused to take it back.

The judge said: "The dog was not under proper control when it sank its teeth into a girl's leg and held on for about 30 seconds.

"It is beyond me why anybody would keep a Staffordshire Bull terrier when there are many dogs with a more benign nature.

"If you choose to own one you must keep special care of it especially when it was thought to have a difficult temperament."

Virus killed dog

Natalie Carter, prosecuting, said: "The victim was cycling in the area and had seen the dog before and was not unduly concerned.

"She said the dog run in front of her causing her to swerve and fall off.

"While on the ground it bit her leg. It was growling and she could see its teeth."

She was helped by a number of people before her father took her to hospital.

The dog was later seized by police and kennelled but has since died from a virus.

Jo Morris, defending, said: "The incident occurred and he intervened immediately he realised.

"He has owned Staffordshires all his life without incident. This was negligence rather than recklessness."

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