Suspended jail sentence for Leeds dog owner after pet's bite attack in park

A dog owner whose pet broke free and bit another dog and its owner during a walk in a Leeds park has avoided immediate jail.

Saturday, 8th February 2020, 11:45 am

Ben Hyland, 26, was walking his Staffordshire Terrier cross on Arthur's Rein park in Seacroft on a lead and chest harness when she pulled away and the harness broke, Leeds Crown Court heard.

Hyland's dog, called Sassy, bit a Lhasa Apso dog that was off its lead and had been barking.

Sassy then bit and injured the Lhasa Apso's owner's hand as he tried to free his dog from her mouth.

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Arthur's Rein park in Seacroft.

Prosecutor Jonathan Sharp said the incident happened just before 11am on December 15, 2018.

Mr Sharp said Hyland's dog Sassy is large and powerful and was in a second hand harness that was "wholly inadequate" to restrain her.

The victim had let one of his dogs off the lead and it approached Hyland's dog and started barking.

Hyland started shouting at the victim and Sassy became agitated and pulled away from him with such force that the harness broke.

Sassy ran towards them quickly and the victim did not even have the time to pick up his dogs.

Sassy picked up one of the victim's dogs and started shaking it.

The victim managed to pull the animal's jaws open and release his pet who ran away.

But Sassy then clamped her jaws down on the victim's left hand so he punched her in the head, causing her to release her grip.

Hyland then pulled the dog away and left the scene.

The court victim found out Hyland's address and went to his house but Hyland told him to 'f**k off' and slammed the door in his face.

He suffered 12 to 16 puncture wounds to his hand, which needed hospital treatment

The victim, who works as an engineer, had to take eight weeks off work.

Hyland, of Asket Drive, Seacroft, admitted owning a dog dangerously out of control causing injury.

The court heard he now walks the dog on a suitable harness and with a muzzle and there have been no further incidents.

Eddison Flint, mitigating, said Hyland is a responsible dog owner, adding:" This was an isolated incident. There had been no previous complaints about Sassy's behaviour."

Mr Flint said: "It is accepted the dog bit the complainant's pet. The defendant then ran over and tried to out his hands in his own dog's mouth and prize the dog away."

Hyland was handed a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay £500 compensation to the victim

He must also complete a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

Recorder Dapinder Singh told Hyland: "When you walk Sassy in future, should there be any any recurrence then you will be brought back to this court and that prison sentence could be activated in full."