A PATTERDALE terrier was ‘dangerously out of control’ when it escaped from its property and bit a dog walker near an infant school.  

Faye McGee, 41, had admitted being the owner of a dog dangerously out of control causing injury at an earlier hearing.

The dog was spared from being destroyed when McGee was sentenced at Workington Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

Outlining the case, prosecutor Pamela Fee said the incident took place at 11am on November 11 last year. The victim was bitten by a dog while she was walking two chihuahuas on a lead past St Gregory’s School in Whitehaven.

The victim saw two dogs running at her and the larger of the two dogs grabbed one of her dogs by the neck. The victim had picked her dog up and was bitten by the larger dog on her arm. The two dogs then ran away.

McGee later admitted the offence. She said the two dogs were in her garden and the gate had been left open. She said she was aware the dogs had escaped and one of them had bitten the victim.

McGee had no previous convictions, the court was told.

John Cooper, defending, said: “She deserves credit for her guilty plea at the earliest opportunity and for cooperating with police.

“As soon as they went to speak to her, she said, ‘I’m responsible’. It must have been difficult to prove the two dogs from her house were the ones involved in the incident.

“She always makes sure the gate is normally shut. She has taken steps to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

“The dog has been with her since November. There has been no repeat.

“Even the police were saying they didn’t want the dog to be destroyed. They see it as a brief incident. This is the first time they have had any dealings with her.

“The main issue is keeping the dog secure.”

Passing sentence, Jennifer Wilkinson, chair of the magistrates panel, said they did not believe the dog was a danger to the public.

A contingent destruction order was imposed with conditions for the dog to be muzzled and on a non-extendable lead in public, not to be walked by anyone aged under 16 and not to be sold on to anyone else.

McGee must also put measures in place to ensure her property is secure so the dog does not have access to the public.

The defendant, of Esk Avenue, Whitehaven,  was fined £120 and ordered to pay £100 in compensation to the victim. She must also pay £85 costs and a £48 victim surcharge.