£450 compensation bill for Telford woman whose dog bit child
A woman whose dog bit a child delivering a leaflet to her home has been ordered to pay the victim compensation.
Christine Harrison, aged 69, pleaded guilty to a charge of being the owner or person in charge of a dog dangerously out of control causing injury, when she appeared at Telford Magistrates Court yesterday.
The court heard that the 11-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was delivering leaflets in the area on September 9, when the a German Shepherd-type dog named Shultz bit him on the arm.
The court was told that Harrison, of Churchway in Stirchley, Telford, had since taken action to prevent a repeat of the incident.
Prosecuting, Abigail Hall, said: "On the day the victim was carrying out a leaflet drop in the area.
"They stated there were other people nearby, but the victim was the only one on the driveway. He said there were two gates to the door.
"He went through to deliver the leaflet and on the first gate stated there was a sign saying 'beware of dog'.
"He got to the door and heard the dog barking and could see the dog jumping up on the other side of the door.
"He put the leaflet on the floor and the dog knocked the door handle and opened it. He stated the dog was not barking or growling.
"He said the dog sniffed him, showed its teeth, then bit him on the arm and would not let go.
"He shook his arm to get the dog off and ran away. He saw a little girl was in the house, who called the dog inside."
The court heard that the victim had to go to hospital, and had stitches and a dressing on his arm because of the bite.
Miss Hall said: "The defendant was interviewed at her home voluntarily due to mobility problems.
"She was upset, and was in bed at the time and her nine-year-old granddaughter was in the house. She did not believe the dog could open the door.
"The dog had not been exercised for several years. The dog had bitten someone before – she had reported this to the police but nothing came of it. She put up warning signs and a second gate to her property.
"The dog was assessed and they were confident that it is not dangerous."
Defending, Jonathan Mason, said: "This is a distressing case all round for all concerned. The defendant is a responsible dog owner, had signs up on the gate, the door was closed and somehow it opened – it's not clear how.
"Since this has happened she has put a letterbox on the gate so no one needs to come to the door and she has padlocked the gate so no one can get in.
"She has put measures in to make sure this incident does not happen again."
Harrison was ordered to pay £450 of compensation to the victim.
Magistrates also ordered her to pay a fine of £170, costs of £185 and a victim surcharge of £30.
They also issued a contingent destruction order for the dog, with the requirements that the the dog must be muzzled and kept on a lead in a public place, measures are to be put in place to prevent the dog from escaping from its home and that the dog is to be kept under proper control in the premises at all times.
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