Dog to be put down after biting three people in Ipswich

Police were called to Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Tuesday morning Picture: ARCHANT

Angela Monkman appeared at Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Tuesday - Credit: ARCHANT

Magistrates have ordered the destruction of a dangerously out of control dog which bit three people in Ipswich.

Owner Angela Monkman was also banned from keeping dogs for five years.

The 58-year-old appeared before magistrates on Tuesday to be sentenced for three counts of owning a dangerously out of control dog.

Prosecutor Colette Harper said police were called to reports of a German shepherd/husky cross having attacked a Chihuahua – one of two dogs being walked by a veterinary nurse, accompanied by her four-year-old daughter – in Coleridge Road on May 22.

The group found refuge in the home of a neighbour, who fended off the dog by brandishing a stick, Mrs Harper told the court.

Two men, Richard Watson and Paul George, were both bitten on the leg while attempting to contain the dog, called Ben, in the garden of Monkman's property – from where it escaped through an unlocked gate.

Mrs Harper said Monkman was arrested after being obstructive and refusing to provide details to police at the scene.

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Pending further enquiries, she was told to adhere to a list of conditions for keeping the dog.

On the morning of July 14, Monkman's cleaner was in the hallway of the property when the dog sank its teeth into her right calf before chasing her upstairs and biting her right thigh.

David Allan, mitigating, said the first incident unfolded after the garden gate was left unlocked following its repair the previous day.

Mr Allan said there were no injuries to the Chihuahua and that Mr Watson's own statement suggested Ben subsequently displayed "classic protection of property" behaviour. 

He said Monkman had initially been uncooperative with the police because she was "terrified" about the consequences of the incident.

A dog behaviourist report, commissioned by Monkman's lawyers, found that Ben normally behaved "totally appropriately and without any cause for concern". 

Mr Allan said Monkman had put in place a number of measures to prevent any further incident, adding: "The suggestion she should be banned from keeping dogs and that Ben should be put down doesn't chime with the decision to leave him with her for the last 10 months."

Monkman was handed a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay a total of £650 in compensation to the three victims.

Magistrates banned her from keeping dogs for five years and ordered destruction of the dog in 21 days, pending any appeal.