American Bulldog cross bites delivery driver carrying 'appetising smelling food' in Whitley Bay

A court heard that Dawn Leadbitter had since put in place a number of measures to make sure it never happened again. Credit: NCJMEDIA

A Tyneside pet-owner has been fined after her dog bit a food delivery driver.

Dawn Leadbitter's American Bulldog cross was in her garden when the man pulled up to drop off groceries at her address.

Newcastle Magistrates' Court heard that, as he walked past a 4ft fence which was keeping the dog in, the animal jumped up and sunk his teeth into his torso.

Leadbitter, 41, of Whitley Bay, pleaded guilty to having a dog dangerously out of control and causing injury.

James Long, prosecuting, said the incident happened on 18 July 2022.

Mr Long added: "As he walked past the fence, which was 4ft high, to go towards the defendant's property, a dog jumped up, reached over the fence and bit him on the right side of his torso, causing bite marks on his flank."

The court heard that the dog had been recused from an adoption centre and had never behaved in such a manner before.

Mark Harrison, mitigating, said Leadbitter had since put in place a number of measures to make sure something similar never happened again.

Mr Harrison continued: "The delivery driver was walking past the fence carrying the very appetising smelling food. The dog was excited by the delivery driver's presence but we think he jumped up in order to get the food he had in his hands."

Fining Leadbitter £300 and ordering her to pay £85 costs and a £120 victim surcharge, District Judge Paul Currer said: "You have pleaded guilty to what is a serious offence. The starting point for such an offence, when applying the guidelines, is six months in custody.

"However, that's not what I'm considering with you. It a serious offence because a dog, especially a powerful dog like yours, being so out of control and injuring somebody is serious.

"I'm confident you have done a lot since. You have taken steps to make sure such an incident won't happen again and I'm heartened by that."

The dog was also made subject of a contingent destruction order, where it must be kept muzzled and on a lead at all times in public or risk being put to sleep.

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