Tyne & Wear

County Durham nose attack Great Dane was 'lovely pet'

A dog alleged to have bitten off part of a delivery driver's nose was a "lovely pet", a court has heard.

Stephen McQuiggin needed operations to rebuild his face after the attack by the Great Dane in County Durham.

Appearing at Durham Crown Court, Carol Crawford, of Flodden Close, Chester-le-Street, denies being the owner of a dog dangerously out of control.

Mrs Crawford, 47, told the court the injuries must have been caused by the dog's paw.

She wept as she told the court how police came to take the dog away, telling her her beloved pet would have to be destroyed, following the incident in September 2010.

However, the animal was later placed in kennels, then returned to the Great Dane Adoption Society's base in Lincolnshire.

Mrs Crawford and her husband, Mark, had got the dog from the charity as a puppy in 2007.

Joy Ledingham, the charity founder, told the court: "She is a smashing dog.

"If she came up for rehoming as a new dog I would have no qualms whatsoever in rehoming Jessie with a new family.

"She's lovely."

Mrs Crawford said she would not have been defending the claim if her family believed the animal was dangerous.

"Had I physically heard something or there had been a ferocious attack we wouldn't be standing here and contesting the point," she said.

"While we love our dogs as children, we are not stupid."

The case was adjourned until Friday.

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