Owner avoids jail after dog attack terror

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A woman was left emotionally and physically scarred after being mauled by a dog in her own garden.

Kirklees magistrates heard how a German Shepherd, belonging to workman Paul Brough, broke free after being chained up in a neighbouring garden.

Brough had been working in the garden, but left the dog tied up while he went home to fetch tools which he needed for his work.

But while he was gone, the court heard that the dog escaped and went into Dorothy Watson’s garden in Roberttown Lane, where she was taking down a tree branch.

Prosecuting, Claire Benson, told the court the dog attacked her, causing multiple injuries, which left her with scars on her neck and left ear and nerve damage.

Her husband pulled the dog off her after hearing her screams, and Mrs Watson was taken to Bradford Royal Infirmary where she had a tetanus jab and emergency plastic surgery on one of her injuries. Following the attack, the dog was destroyed. Brough, 34, of Sandiway Bank, Thornhill, had only had the dog for a few weeks when the attack happened and was said to be distraught.

Mitigating, Mohammed Arif told the court: “He is still very shaken about what happened. He can’t explain what happened and why.

“He genuinely feels for Mrs Watson and would like to express condolences to her.”

Brough was given a prison sentence of 20 weeks suspended for 12 months and was disqualified from owning a dog for five years. District Judge Marie Mallon told him: “This is serious because you can’t realistically know a dog’s character after owning it for only three or four weeks, but I accept that you did not know it would have broken away.”

After the case, Mrs Watson said: “I would like to put everything that happened behind me, but I would like to thank the emergency services for the way they responded and dealt with the incident.”