Judge's dog 'savaged sunbathing student'

A judge's dog savaged a student sunbathing in his parents' garden, a court heard today.

Frederick "Fritz" Becker was lying on the lawn at his parents' home in Rothbury, Northumberland when Judge Beatrice Bolton's seven-month-old German Shepherd attacked in May.

He was left bleeding and bruised after the pet, called Georgina, charged towards him barking, then sank its teeth into his leg, it is alleged.

Carlisle Magistrates heard how the 20-year-old's parents John and Anne Malia shared a garden behind their adjoining properties with Judge Bolton.

They branded the 57-year-old and her partner "the neighbours from Hell" after months of being terrorised by the dog, the court heard.

Judge Bolton was charged with failing to keep her dog under control.

The Judge, who sits at Newcastle Crown Court, denies breaching the Dangerous Dogs Act following the incident on May 31.

The court studied CCTV taken from security cameras on the Malia's property of the alleged attack.

A camera trained on the red gravel drive and well tended shared lawns to the rear of the houses showed the dog dash towards Mr Becker, of Fawdon, Newcastle, then appear to make contact with his leg.

The student, who is studying politics at Sunderland University, said he was talking on his mobile to his girlfriend when he heard barking.

He said: "I saw movement out of the corner of my eye and then came the noise; the cacophony which followed.

"I was lying on the ground and I had seen the dog was running towards me and it was not going to stop so I was preparing to get up and remove

myself from the dog.

"Because of altercations my family had in the past, I knew it was not coming up with the best of intentions.

"I was worried it was going to bite me.

"When it did bite me I had gotten up because I was lying on the ground and it could have gone for my face if it had wanted to.

"It had bitten me and I had given it a kick because I didn't want it to come at me again and wanted it off me."

He said the dog's bite tore through his black tracksuit trousers causing a bruise and a cut to his left leg.

Stephen Blake of the CMA  Photo: Vikki Ellis

New campaign targets cartels as tip offs rise by a third