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Dog owner sentenced after girl, 2, attacked in Carlisle

[T]he owner of a dog that attacked a girl aged 2, has appeared at the Magistrates Court in Carlisle.

Catherine May Claire Pilkington, 41 of Chiswick Street, Carlisle admitted last month that her Springer Spaniel named Domino was dangerously out of control in a public place on September 21 last year.

The court heard how Mrs Pilkington’s dog was tied to some railings on Church Street because dogs are not allowed in the school grounds, it was left there while she collected her son from Stanwix Primary School.

The victim a two-year-old girl was sitting on the ground next to her mum, a short distance from the dog, a few minutes later the dog turned on the child, there was a scream and the mother saw blood on her daughters face, the dog had bitten her and she was screaming, at that point the owner came back, the court was told she said words to the effect, “I’m sorry, the dog has never done anything like this before.”

The girl suffered a 7mm bite injury just below the bridge of her nose, doctors at the Cumberland Infirmary considered carrying out a “deep clean” of the wound, but it did not need stitches, there is evidence that the child is fearful whenever she sees a dog in the street, and this has had a psychological effect on her the court was told.

The three-and-half-year-old spaniel was usually well behaved Pilkington told police, and she [owner] was in shock when told her dog had bitten a child.

The court was told a witness had seen the child “on top of the dog,” but this was dismissed by the court, District Judge Gerald Chalk said before passing sentence that the dog was tethered to a railing near a school. It does not matter if other parents tie their dogs up, this does not give you carte-blanche, not all people like dogs, they can do serious-harm, but you seem to be a responsible owner, so a contingent destruction order was imposed, which means it is your responsibility to look after your dog and it must be muzzled at all times in public.

Pilkington and was sentenced to a Community Order with a 13-week house curfew [electronically tagged] between 8pm and 7am, she has to pay prosecution costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £60.

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