Man fined and ordered to muzzle dog after attack on woman and her Chihuahua

Man sentenced.
Man sentenced.

A man has been made to pay £1,317 after his dog attacked a woman and her Chihuahua in Crawley.

Jamie Lyons, 28, of Walesbeech, Three Bridges, appeared at Crawley Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (April 9) charged with allowing his dog to be out of control in a public place and cause injury on September 30, 2013.

He pleaded not guilty on January 22 but changed his plea to guilty on Wednesday.

The court heard Lyons’ small black and white Staffordshire bull terrier escaped from his house and attacked a woman in Norwich Road, Three Bridges.

David Holman, prosecuting, read statements from the victim Eileen Smith and a witness Harry Payne.

Eileen Smith’s statement said she had taken her two Chihuahua cross breed dogs Freddie and Billy, for a walk when she saw the dog run at them.

She tried to pick up her dogs but Billy wriggled free.

The statement said: “The staffie was jumping up at me. I was trying to kick the dog away but it was too strong. My legs felt like feathers. I was screaming for help.

“Freddie yelped as the dog bit him. Billy came round from behind me and tried to attack the dog to protect Freddie.”

Mr Payne ran over and tried to pull the dog away and the Staffordshire bull terrier started to chase Billy. Mr Payne chased him and used his belt to lasso his neck.

Mr Holman said moments before this incident, Mr Payne had been in a truck in a carpark in Norwich Road when he saw the dog running towards him.

He opened the door and the dog went for his leg so Mr Payne kicked the dog and it ran away.

Mr Payne then heard Eileen Smith screaming. He followed the sound and found her pinned up against a wall with Freddie in her arm.

He said: “The staffie jumped up and all of a sudden there was a fair amount of blood. I couldn’t tell if it was her or her dog.”

The dog bit Eileen Smith on her hand and Freddie on his backside and leg.

The statement from Eileen Smith said: “I’m an animal lover and I don’t want to be responsible for the dog being put down but how do I know this won’t happen again and again?”

Lyons said he was out at work when the incident occurred and he was ‘shocked and saddened’ when he heard what had happened as it was out of character for his dog to be aggressive. He was fined £150 and made to pay £400 compensation and £447.53 for vet bills, plus £300 costs and a £20 victim surcharge. He was ordered to keep the dog muzzled, on a leash and under control in a public place.