Cumbria Crack

Lakes farmer in the dock after his sheepdog bites pensioner

Carlisle Crown Court

[A] FARMER whose sheepdog bit and wounded a pensioner as she walked near his property has appeared in court.

Jonathan Bland, 45, was sentenced today (THURS) after pleading guilty to one charge. Bland admitted being the owner of a dog which injured 73-year-old Ellen Walters while dangerously out of control in public.

It followed an incident in the area of his Yew Tree Farm, Rosthwaite, on August 26 last year. Ms Walters, who had been walking her own dog, was left bleeding from a puncture wound to her leg, and had teeth marks, after one of two “barking and snarling” working sheepdogs from the farm bit her.

Ms Walters was left scarred and needed “extensive treatment” which, Carlisle Crown Court heard, included 14 separate hospital or GP visits.

The incident was said to have been “out of character” for Bland’s two dogs which, he believed, had never been aggressive nor bitten anyone before.

Bland, a man of previous good character, was given a community order comprising a 28-day night-time curfew, and must pay the victim £1,040 compensation. Judge James Adkin ruled the two dogs must now be muzzled in public places – other than when working and under Bland’s direct control; and must also be tethered within the farmyard.

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