Owner must pay after Staffordshire Bull Terrier bit woman in Hayling pub

editorial image
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier bit Spaniel’s nose before biting woman
  • Owner found guilty under the Dangerous Dog Act after trial
Have your say

A WOMAN’S dog attacked a pub-goer after she handed its lead to a friend.

Sharon Thomas’ Staffordshire Bull Terrier bit a victim after first attacking the her spaniel in a pub.

I didn’t think anything was going to happen

Sharon Thomas

Lisa Whitbread suffered injuries to a foot and her wrist when she was bitten at the Ferry Boat Inn at Hayling Island, Portsmouth magistrates heard.

Prosecutor Dan O’Neill said: ‘Miss Whitbread was with her dog, a spaniel, and the owner of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier came in.

‘Miss Thomas, with her two dogs, sat in a separate part of the pub. Both of Thomas’ were on a lead.’

He added Thomas, 42, handed over the lead for her dog Barney to a friend, who then let go of it.

Mr O’Neill told magistrates: ‘He’s run off over to where Whitbread was sat.

‘The Staffordshire Bull Terrier appears to sniff at the spaniel.’

It was then Barney latched on to the spaniel’s nose and the victim tried to separate the two dogs before she was bitten and began screaming.

CCTV played in court showed how dozens of people came rushing after the victim started screaming. She was treated by medics on July 26 last year.

Despite handing over the lead, Thomas, of Saltmarsh Lane, Hayling Island, was found guilty of being in charge of dog dangerously out of control causing injury after a brief trial.

Giving evidence in the witness box, Thomas had said: ‘I didn’t think anything was going to happen.

‘I had no problem with my friend. She knows my dog very well.

‘It was only when I heard Lisa screaming.’

The court heard the Spaniel had growled at the other dogs when Thomas first came into the pub and that her friend had excited Barney.

Thomas now uses a lead that locks if the animal tries to run away.

Chairman of the magistrates David Rowles said: ‘We don’t believe for a minute there’s any intention for this.

‘We know that you’re a dog-lover, we know that you’re a good dog owner, we know this was just a single lapse I suppose.’

Mr Rowles imposed a six-month conditional discharge. Thomas must pay £350 in compensation, £135 in costs and a £15 victim surcharge.