Felixstowe; Dog owner cleared of having animal out of control

felixstowe: A dog owner whose three Staffordshire cross breeds allegedly mauled another dog and bit off part of a woman’s finger has been cleared of having a dog which was dangerously out of control.

Robert Hanks, 40, of Ferry Road, Felixstowe, had denied being the owner of a dog which was dangerously out of control in Gosford Way, Felixstowe, on July 23 last year.

It was alleged during a three-day trial at Ipswich Crown Court that as Hanks returned home from a ten-mile “run” with his dogs they had attacked a Staffordshire bull terrier called Munchkin belonging to his neighbour Shirley Danyish.

Munchkin had allegedly suffered a number of injuries and Miss Danyish had the top of her little finger bitten off during the incident.

The court heard that Hanks had been riding a bike and his three dogs, Boo, Tiggy and Soup had been attached by their leads to a chain round his waist.

Giving evidence during the trial, Hanks claimed Munchkin had lunged at his dogs and his dogs had lunged back. He had dropped his bike and pulled his dogs away but as he did so he fell over his bike and one of his dogs had slipped out of its collar and went for Munchkin.

Care assistant, Miss Danyish, who lost part of a finger as she tried to rescue her dog, told the court that the three dogs had “ripped into” Munchkin.

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“They were tearing into her. It was like something out of a wildlife programme. It was horrendous,” she said.

Cross-examined by prosecution counsel Godfried Duah, Hanks denied a suggestion that he had “no control whatsover” over his dogs and said he had spent a long time training his dogs.

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