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Monday, 22 December 2014

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Staffie given death sentence for Barrow attack on dog and owner

A DOG which carried out a ferocious attack in Barrow on a family pet may have been trained for illegal fighting, a court heard.

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GUILTY Vicky Devlin outside Furness Magistrates’ Court where she was sentenced for two counts of possessing a dog dangerously out of control ASHTON BOWRON REF: 50039950B002

Vicky Devlin was sentenced for two counts of possessing a dog dangerously out of control when she appeared at Furness Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

The 27-year-old, of Egerton Court, Barrow, had pleaded guilty to one of the offences, relating to her Staffordshire bull terrier Charlie’s involvement in a street attack.

She was later found guilty of being responsible for a second Staffie, Sonny, which was also involved in the attack.

The two animals had been walking off their leads when they set on David Kenrick and his five-year-old Staffie, Holly, in Ramsden Dock Road, Barrow, on January 26.

Mr Kenrick was left with several injuries to his hands after he attempted to split the dogs up.

Holly was bitten on her head, ears and legs, leaving Mr Kenrick with £223 in vet bills.

Mrs Lisa Hine, prosecuting, said the attack had left both the owner and his dog traumatised.

The court heard that Devlin had owned Charlie since he was a puppy but there was evidence to suggest he had been used for illegal dog fighting while she was in custody for an unrelated offence.

Mr Mike Graham, defending, said: “The dog was passed to a third party who did not take care of the dog and this resulted in a change in its demeanour.

“This may be related to what the dog was used for when the defendant was remanded in custody but she was not aware this was happening.”

Mr Graham went on to say that Devlin was a responsible dog owner and had taken steps to improve Charlie’s behaviour after the attack by having him neutered.

But district judge Mr David Purcell ordered Charlie to be destroyed. He also imposed a curfew, ordering Devlin to remain indoors from 7pm to 7am for five months.

She was also told to pay £500 compensation to Mr Kenrick and £300 in court costs and was banned from keeping a dog for three years.

Mr Purcell said: “I consider because of what I have heard and the circumstances surrounding this offence that your animals are well fed and cared for.

“But I do not consider that you are an appropriate person to have a dog.”

The fate of Sonny, which belongs to Devlin’s ex-boyfriend, will be decided in two weeks pending a report from an animal expert.

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