Two badly injured during dog attack

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court
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A man needed six hours of surgery after being attacked by an out of control dog, a court has heard.

The victim was one of two people “well trained” mastiff Bolo attacked while being walked

Bolo, was being walked by Andrew Higgin, a friend of its owner, when it set upon a stray labrador.

A man and a woman came over to help and once the dog freed the labrador from its clutches it turned its attention towards them, Preston Crown Court was told.

The man underwent extensive surgery and a skin graft for wounds to his mouth, and suffered nightmares and flashbacks after the attack.

The the woman required 30 stitches, and has been left with physical scarring and a fear of dogs.

Higgin, 25, of Rockingham Avenue, Bispham, admitted being in charge of a dog that was dangerously out of control.

He had offered to take Bolo for a walk on Furness Avenue, Blackpool, in the early hours of April 1 last year, and the court heard the dog attracted the attention of the stray while he was out.

Michelle Brown, prosecuting, said Higgin took the dog out, with a harness and a lead, at around 2am, and again at 6am.

During the later walk, Bolo attacked the stray, clamping his jaw around the labrador’s throat.

Miss Brown said: “Bolo was so out of control that once separated from the other dog and the other dog removed from the equation, he appeared to turn his attention by biting the woman on the chin, neck and finger. (The man) sought to intervene and the dog went to bite his nose, lip and chin.”

A dog assessor told the court on Tuesday it seemed to have been two male dogs fighting, and when they became separated their aggression was redirected and Bolo may have perceived he was under attack. He said Bolo was “very well trained” and described what had happened as being very unusual.

The dog has been in kennels since the incident, where he was described as being co-operative and easy to handle.

Nick Courtney, defending, said Bolo had been provoked by the stray dog.

He said: “It may well be that had somebody been responsible for the black labrador, none of the incident would have occurred at all.”

Sentencing Higgin to a 12-month conditional discharge, Judge Andrew Woolman said the incident had been “terribly unfortunate” for the bitten victims.

He added: “I accept in general terms you did your best to keep it under control and out of the way, but it all went wrong.” He made a contingent destruction order for the dog, including a requirement that it is kept muzzled and on a lead when out in public.

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