Dog owner wins appeal to stop 'best friend' being put down

Ipswich Crown Court Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Angela Monkman won her appeal at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

A woman whose dog bit three people in Ipswich has won her appeal against having her pet, who she described as her “best friend”, put down.

Fifty-eight-year-old Angela Monkman was banned earlier this year  from keeping dogs for five years and was told that her German Shepherd  ‘Ben’ would have to be destroyed after she admitted three offences of having a dangerously out of control dog.

On Friday (November 5) an emotional Monkman successfully appealed against the magistrates’’ sentence to a judge, sitting with two magistrates at Ipswich Crown Court, who agreed to lift the five-year ban on her keeping dogs and said Ben wouldn’t have to be put as long as she abided by certain conditions.

These include ensuring sure that Ben is muzzled  in public and measures to ensure that he can’t escape from Monkman’s garden or house.

Giving evidence during the appeal  Monkman, who was living in Coleridge Road in Ipswich but has now moved to Stowmarket, described Ben as her “companion, best friend and emotional support” and said she didn’t think he deserved to die because of her mistakes.

She told the court that since the attacks in May and July last year Ben had been allowed to live with her and there had been no further attacks.

She said she had moved house and had made her garden escape proof as well as putting locks on her external doors and muzzling him except when family were around.

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In addition to the destruction order and the ban from keeping dogs at her sentencing hearing in May, magistrates gave Monkman a 12-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months and ordered her to pay compensation to the three victims.

The court heard that police received a report on May 22 last year that a German shepherd had attacked a Chihuahua being walked by a veterinary nurse in Coleridge Road.

The woman and her daughter had taken refuge in the home of a neighbour who fended off the dog with a stick.

Two men were then bitten on the leg as they tried  to contain Ben in Monkman’s garden.

Monkman was told to adhere to a list of conditions for keeping the dog pending further enquiries  but on July 14 last year, her cleaner was in the hallway of the property when Ben bit her right calf before chasing her upstairs and biting her right thigh.