Staffordshire bull terrier to be destroyed after third time ‘dangerously out of control’ in Ipswich

Ipswich Magistrates Court on Elm Street

Ipswich Magistrates Court on Elm Street - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

A judge has ordered the destruction of a Staffordshire bull terrier after the third time it was dangerously out of control in Ipswich.

John O’Mahoney, 43, of Downside Close, Ipswich, appeared at Ipswich Magistrates Court today for sentencing after admitting breaching a control of dog order issued in December 2013 and being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control.

The charge relates to his 14-year-old dog Sasha who the court heard had helped O’Mahoney turn his life around.

Prosecuting, Stephen Sparkes said a couple were walking along Ellesmere Road on July 17 last year with their Labrador when they saw O’Mahoney outside a fish and chip shop.

Although the couple gave O’Mahoney and Sasha a wide birth the Staffordshire bull terrier, who was not muzzled at the time, broke free and grabbed their pet by the head and refused to let go.

The Labrador’s owner tried to break it up, injuring his thumb in the process.

Following the attack, the couple’s Labrador required vet treatment costing £111.

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The court heard how in December 2013, a dog control order was put in place saying Sasha must be muzzled at all times.

O’Mahoney had appeared in court in August 2014 and January 2015 and for breaching the order and being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control.

Mr Sparkes said: “This is now the third time this particular dog has been out of control and not complying with a court order.”

In mitigation, John Hughes said O’Mahoney had kept Sasha muzzled since the incident in July and had only taken it off so she could be fed by a friend.

He said: “He is not concerned about himself, he is concerned a momentary lapse will have consequences for the dog which has been of great benefit to him in changing his ways.”

District Judge Claire Jackson said she was not convinced O’Mahoney would comply if she issued another dog control order.

“My concern is the brief moment the dog became so violent. It was unmuzzled for just a moment, the dog is therefore a danger.”

She ordered the dog to be destroyed and handed O’Mahoney a 12 month community order, a four week curfew and a 15 day rehabilitation activity requirement.

He was also made to pay vet bills to the owner of the Labrador.