THE OWNER of a dog which bit a man so badly he needed major surgery has been ordered to pay £1,000 in compensation.
Irene Connochie was holding her pet, a Rottweiler and German Shepherd cross, when it leaped from her arms and launched itself at the victim.
Eastbourne magistrates heard Jeremy Scott needed 50 metal staples in his leg after the incident.
The court was told that on the day in question Mr Scott was walking with his Rottweiler puppy and had past the Premier stores in Seaside when he noticed Connochie’s dog outside on a lead.
Mr Scott said the animal was barking and aggressive towards him and his dog.
The court heard the defendant, of Firle Road, was holding her dog and speaking to a man when it ran towards Mr Scott.
As he turned to protect his pet, the dog bit him on the back of his left knee.
Following the incident, prosecutor Jeremy King said Connochie, 51, gave her authority for her dog to be put down.
She pleaded guilty to being the owner of a dog which was dangerously out of control and caused injury.
She claimed she had come out of the shop to untie the dog after hearing it barking and had slipped on the ice and the dog came free.
She added she didn’t believe her dog was capable of causing such an injury.
Antony Stannard, defending, said, “Miss Connochie obtained the dog in April 2008. He was a rescue dog.
“When she took ownership of him there was no history of any aggression or any problems with him and between 2008 and the date of the incident there were no real problems with him.
“It’s a big dog, about 45kg, it’s a dog which needs some training and control.”
He added that his client had a lengthy background with dogs, had been involved with various charities including Canine Partners and that the dog seemed to be very well trained.
He said, “On the day in question the dog was restrained with an appropriate lead and was muzzled.
“In this instant the dog got away and this muzzle equipment didn’t stop him from biting.”
He added that it had ‘broken’ his client’s heart to get her pet put down and she had taken the decision due to her health problems not to get any further dogs.
Magistrate Mr Elphick told Connachie the pictures showed one of the worst injuries that the bench had seen and warned her they had been considering custody.
But given that it was her first offence, and taking into account her health problems and guilty plea, they ordered her to pay Mr Scott £1,000 compensation.