Pitbull owner imprisoned

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A MAN wiped away tears in court as he heard his dog would be destroyed.

Magistrates ordered Paul Hinchliff’s female pitbull terrier, Pagan, to be put to sleep at a hearing on Tuesday – and Hinchliff, 32, was jailed for three months after admitting possessing a prohibited dog.

Dewsbury Magistrates Court heard that a neighbour contacted the RSPCA after seeing the dog limping last August.

Officers visited Hinchliff, of Listing Drive, Liversedge, who said the dog had hurt its leg three weeks earlier.

He agreed it could be taken for treatment when it was found to have a broken leg – and concerns were also raised that it was a pitbull.

Police dog handler PC Duncan Matthews concluded Pagan was 79 per cent pitbull and vets Rhiannon Bartlett and Shona Haydon said the dog had suffered from the leg injury.

Police interviewed Paul Hinchliff and his father Nicholas, 57, of Carr Top, Staincliffe, who said the dog had hurt its leg after jumping over the seats in the father’s van.

He and his son took it to Calder Vets in Dewsbury and were told an operation would cost £1,400. They said they could not afford it and would take Pagan for free treatment at the PDSA.

Prosecutor Ian Drummond said Nicholas Hinchliff thought Pagan started to get better and told police: “Before I knew it two or three weeks had gone by. She was the happiest dog in the district.”

Paul Hinchliff, currently in prison for other matters, admitted owning a banned dog and failing to surrender to bail and was banned from keeping a dog for 10 years. His solicitor, Simon Lindley, said his client did not believe Pagan was a pitbull. Nicholas Hinchliff did not appear and a warrant was issued. He was convicted of possessing a fighting dog and causing unnecessary suffering and will be sentenced later.