A Grantham couple who kept a fighting dog, of a pit bull type, have been banned from keeping dogs for 10 years after it attacked and killed another dog.
Rebecca Louise Doughty, 24, of Colne Court, Grantham, admitted being in charge of a dog which was dangerously out of control in a public place. Wayne Kirby Doughty, 39, of the same address, admitted possessing a fighting dog.
Prosecuting, Shelley Wilson told the court that the incident happened in September last year when a 76-year-old woman was walking her dog, a Bedlington cross, and a neighbour’s dog, both of them on leads. While walking at the back of properties in East Avenue she heard another dog snarling and then saw it run from behind some garages and clamp its jaws around the head of her dog.
Mrs Wilson said the Bedlington cross was “viciously” shaken and dragged over rough ground taking its owner with them as she held on to the lead. The owner was pulled to the floor and suffered bruising and pain to her arm. She was “hysterical” and a group of people gathered round to help and the police were called. The small dog was clearly dead.
Mrs Doughty had said the attacking dog escaped though a hole in the fence and she was unaware of what had happened until the police arrived. She said her husband was supposed to have fixed the fence. She accepted the dog was aggressive towards other dogs.
In a statement the owner of the dead dog said the Doughtys were not responsible enough to own a dog.
The fighting dog, which weighed 30kg, was so aggressive in the kennels that staff were unable to go near it for four days. A vet had to put 43 pills in the dog’s food followed by another sedative before he could go into the kennel and put it down.
Mrs Wilson said the Doughtys bought another dog for £250 which was said to be a Staffordshire type. It had also been involved in a recent incident near St Hugh’s School in Grantham when it attacked another dog. It did not bite the dog but pulled tufts of hair from it.
Chris Pye-Smith, representing Wayne Doughty, said his client had not known it was a prohibited dog but had pleaded guilty after seeing expert evidence which had proven it was. Rebecca Doughty had owned the dog before they were married and Doughty had said he was surprised to learn it was prohibited.
Mr Pye-Smith said youths had vandalised the fence leaving a hole in it. Doughty had put a metal grate aross it but it was damaged again. A vet had said the couple’s dog was well looked after. The court heard Doughty had no previous convictions with regards to dogs.
Sonia Bhalla, representing Rebecca Doughty, said the dog had been her responsibility at the time. Miss Bhalla added: “She is incredibly sorry for what happened. My client has suffered from this. She is not trying to blame anyone else. She is now suffering anxiety and is on medication for it. She said her client wrote a letter to the victim with a full apology and offering to cover any expenses.
Magistrates banned both defendants from keeping a dog for 10 years. Rebecca Doughty was given a community order for nine months and ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work. Wayne Doughty received a three month community order and will be electronically tagged to obey a curfew from 7pm to 7am. Both defendants must pay £500 each in compensation to the victim. They were given 48 hours to have their current dog rehoused.