Felixstowe: Owner awaiting sentence after bull mastiff attacked smaller dog

An example of a Bull Mastiff

An example of a Bull Mastiff - Credit: Archant

A Felixstowe dog owner is awaiting her fate today after her bull mastiff and its daughter savaged a small dog so badly it had to be destroyed.

Two of Alison Tibbenham’s three dogs were involved in the incident which led to Temper, the bull mastiff, being put down after ripping into a lhasa bichon named Daisy.

The future of Temper’s daughter Bella – a Staffordshire bull terrier cross – hangs in the balance today after she joined in the attack and bit the hand of Daisy’s owner John Harrison as he tried to intervene.

Appearing before magistrates in Ipswich, Tibbenham, of Beach Station Road, Felixstowe, admitted allowing Bella to be dangerously out of control in a public place and cause injury.

The 47-year-old previously admitted a similar offence, but with no injury to a human, relating to Temper.

Prosecutor Godfried Duah said Temper and Bella had got out of Tibbenham’s home through the fire escape on November 11 last year and ran across a field to where Mr Harrison was walking Daisy. Mr Duah said Temper bit into Daisy’s back legs and lower abdomen.

Mr Duah said it was at this point that Bella got involved. “She appeared on the scene and bit the victim to the hand as he was trying to desperately separate the two dogs.”

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He said both dogs were “completely out of control and ripping into his (Mr Harrison’s) dog. The victim was terrified he was going to get bitten again. However, he instinctively tried to assist his dog.” The defendant finally got Bella under some form of control and the dogs were taken away.

Mr Harrison was said to have been left traumatised. The shopkeeper received treatment at Felixstowe’s minor injuries unit, while Daisy’s injuries were so severe that she had to be put down. Tibbenham’s sentencing was adjourned until May 30. She was given unconditional bail.