'The dog was used as a weapon': Staffordshire bull terrier savaged man in his own flat as owner encouraged dog to bite victim

A man used his pet Staffordhsire bull terrier "as a weapon" as he encouraged the dog to inflict savage bite wounds on a rival in his own flat.

By Tony Gardner
Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 10:12 am

A court heard the victim was screaming and in severe pain as the dog bit his arms and legs during the incident.

Matthew Byford encouraged his pet dog, called Tyson, to cause injuries to the man at the property in Wakefield city centre.

Leeds Crown Court heard Byford and another man went to the flat where the victim lived on Cheapside on August 28 last year.

Cheapside in Wakefield

Byford's friend knew the victim and was allowed in to have a drink with him.

The friend left the communal front door wide open and Byford went into the property with the animal.

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Byford and his friend then encouraged the dog to bite the man.

People from a nearby taxi office heard the man's screams and went to the flat.

They banged on the door and Byford and the other man left with the dog.

Byford, 31, of Peterson Road, Wakefield, pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm and being in charge of a dangerously out of control dog.

The court heard Byford pleaded guilty to the charges at an early stage and was suffering from mental health issues at the time.

He was given a 21-month sentence, suspended for two years.

Byford was also made the subject of a 12-month mental health requirement and ordered to complete 25 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

Judge Penelope Belcher said: "The dog was in effect used as a weapon."