Dog who attacked woman 'minding her own business' must be destroyed, court rules

A judge said the dog should be destroyed to ensure the safety of the public (stock image). Credit: PA Images

A court has ruled that a dog who attacked a woman 'minding her own business' must be destroyed on public safety grounds.

The German Shepherd, called Billy, is said to have bitten the woman's shoulder as she arranged her plant pots.

The dog's walker, Gareth Griffiths, 65, from Old Colwyn in Conwy County Borough, denied being in charge of a dangerously out of control dog which had caused injury.

But following a trial, he was convicted by magistrates at Llandudno.

Prosecutor James Neary said the victim had her back to the pavement as she was gardening at her home, when she felt a sharp pain.

She didn’t know Mr Griffiths, but took photographs of him with the dog a few weeks later.

Mr Griffiths believed that Billy had only “nipped” the victim and it was an accident, Mr Neary said.

Representing himself, the defendant said he was always “very careful” when walking the “well-loved” dog during the last six years. The court heard the dog had been on a lead at the time of the incident.

Billy's owner, a grandmother, urged the court not to order the death of the “gentle” dog.

But at a sentencing hearing on Monday (30 May), district judge Gwyn Jones said his duty to ensure the safety of the public meant Billy should be destroyed.

He said the dog had a history of being aggressive towards other pets, and on this occasion last summer had bitten an innocent woman doing her gardening.

Judge Jones told Mr Griffiths: "You were aware of the dog’s previous aggressive behaviour."

The judge imposed a six-month suspended jail term for Mr Griffiths, and ordered him to carry out 150 hours' unpaid work.

He was also banned from owning or having charge of a dog for eight years, and must pay £500 compensation and £620 costs.