Dog owner sent to jail over park pit bull attacks

A MAN who stood by and watched as his three bull terriers savaged a woman as she was out walking her dog has been jailed.

Saturday, 14th June 2014, 4:35 am
Jane Chippendale of Harehills, Leeds,with her pet dog Maxi

Jane Chippendale was left scarred for life after being mauled by the animals in Harehills Park, Leeds.

Dog owner Philip Thomas, 34, was jailed for 12 months after a judge heard he stood by “without a care” as Ms Chippendale screamed for help as the animals dragged her to the ground and attacked her.

A court heard onlookers believed the mum-of-three was about to be killed as the powerful animals were so out of control.

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A pit bull terrier

She was saved after two men in the park fought them off by kicking and punching the dogs.

Ms Chippendale suffered injuries and scarring to her arms and fingers as well as nerve damage which has left her unable to work since the attack in July last year.

Despite the trauma she has suffered she has been told she will not be able to receive any compensation or criminal injuries payments.

She told the YEP: “I thought I was going to die and this man just stood by and watched.

“I don’t think I will ever get over what happened to me.

“I am now too frightened to walk down the street because of my fear of dogs.

“Family and friends have to walk my own pet for me because I am so scared.” Leeds Crown Court heard Morris created terror in the park with his three pets - called Miller, Fudge and China - when he took them into the park without having them on leads.

The animals are a cross between the Staffordshire bull and shar pei fighting breeds.

Jonathan Sharp, prosecuting, said the dogs tried to attack a Labrador and its owner had to pick it up to protect it.

They then ran towards Mr Chippendale who was with her pet lhasa apso, called Maxy.

Ms Chippendale picked Maxy up but the dogs then attacked and pulled her to the ground.

Mr Sharp said Ms Chippendale was terrified and screamed at Morris to get his dogs on a lead but he replied: “They don’t bite - what’s up with you.”

The prosecutor said: “So fierce was the attack that she passed out. A witness was worried that the dog was going to kill her.”

The dogs returned to their owner when people came to help. Mr Sharp added: “The defendant’s conduct both during and after the incident is of particular concern...he just did not seem bothered or concerned that they had attacked someone.”

Michael Walsh, for Thomas, of South Farm Road, Gipton, said his clients thinking had been “deficient”

Thomas pleaded guilty to one offence of being in charge of a dangerous dog which caused injury to another person and two of being in charge of dangerous dog.

Jailing Thomas, Judge Tom Bayliss, QC, said: “I reflect a large public concern about dogs whose owners allow them to become dangerous.

“The clear message must go out to those who own dogs that if they permit dogs to behave in this way the courts will impose custodial sentence of some length.”

Judge Bayliss made an order banning Thomas from owning dogs.

The judge also ordered that two of the animals be neutered and all must wear muzzled when out in public in the future.

He added: “I am absolutely satisfied that you are not a fit and proper person to have custody of a dog.”