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Dog given “suspended death sentence” for biting woman in Workington field

Carlisle Crown Court

A DOG has been given a “suspended death sentence” after injuring a woman while being walked in a Workington field.

Herma Mary Earl was exercising her own pet on land adjoining Ashfield Road South in the town, on April 28, when she was knocked down by a Dogue de Bordeaux belonging to 51-year-old David Payne. While grounded, Miss Earl was bitten twice on the leg by the animal, called Ollie, either side of an attempt by Payne to take hold of it.

Miss Earl suffered what Carlisle Crown Court heard was a “nasty” injury to her upper thigh. The incident had a “big impact” on her life, and prosecutor Charles Brown said: “She replays the incident in her mind, which affects her sleep. It has affected her confidence. She is anxious when she sees other dogs and they run towards her.”

Payne admitted owning a dog which caused injury while dangerously out of control in public. He had apologised to Miss Earl afterwards, was said by his barrister to be a “responsible dog owner” and had kept Ollie muzzled since.

Judge James Adkin ordered Payne to complete 150 hours’ unpaid work, and pay £1,500 compensation to Miss Earl. A contingent destruction order was made which means Payne must keep Ollie muzzled at all times in public, and away from the Ashfield Road South area. That, Judge James Adkin told Payne, of Fountains Avenue, Workington, was a “suspended death sentence” for his dog.

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