Grantham court: Owner fined after dog bit jogger

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A jogger was nipped on the ankle by a jack russell dog whose owner went on to be arrested.

Stuart Gray, 55, appeared before magistrates in Grantham on Monday charged with owning a dangerously out of control dog which caused injury.

The court heard how the female victim was running down Main Road in Long Bennington on September 8 when the dog came towards her and bit her ankle. Its teeth went through an ankle support she was wearing and drew blood, forcing her to get a tetanus shot from her GP the following day.

Gray, a market trader, apologised to the victim immediately after the incident. He also explained that the dog had been playing with his grandchildren and said it must have got out of the yard through a fence.

During police interview, Gray told officers that the dog was not aggresive and that if the jogger had not startled it, it would have left her alone.

Prosecutor Shelley Wilson said: “The victim said she was concerned a child could’ve been attacked by the dog and that, clearly, things could’ve been more serious.

“Turning back to police evidence, they have indicated that there have been previous reports to them. They say that between January 30, 2011, and this incident on September 8, there have been at least eight separate reports to the police concerning this dog biting people.”

However, Rob Arthur, defending, told magistrates that the dog had not been identified as having attacked anyone, adding: “I don’t think we should be just jumping to conclusions that it’s the dog belonging to Mr Gray because Mr Gray has never been prosecuted for any offence involving the dog.”

Magistrates ordered Gray, of Main Road, Long Bennington, to pay a £160 fine, £50 in compensation to the victim, £85 court costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

As magistrates issued a control order forcing the dog to be muzzled when in a public place, Gray said: “I’ve had him 10 years and never had a problem with him.”