Northampton dog put down after biting into woman’s arm for ‘two minutes’ causing her to need stitches

Northampton Magistrates Court NNL-150303-120601001
Northampton Magistrates Court NNL-150303-120601001

A Northampton woman has had her dog destroyed after it bit through a woman’s coat, giving her four puncture wounds that needed stitches.

Jessalyn Smith, of Deal Street in the town centre, pleaded guilty to possessing a dangerously out of control dog after her American bulldog and Staffordshire bull terrier cross breed attacked Danielle Horton outside the Lower Mounts job centre.

It clamped onto my arm through my jacket and when the woman shouted and tried to get it off me, it bit harder

Danielle Horton

The court heard that the dog owned by the 20-year-old jumped up at Miss Horton despite being on a lead, bit her arm and held on for about two minutes before her coat tore enough for her to pull it free.

Miss Smith handed the dog over to police straight away and said she did not want to own a dog that would harm anyone. It has since been destroyed.

During the hearing at Northampton Magistrates’ Court yesterday, Stella Moses, prosecuting, read out Miss Horton’s police statement from the incident on March 17 this year.

She said: “A man walked past me with two dogs on leads and one of them jumped up at me, and then I saw it jump up at someone else as well. Later the man walked past again with a woman (Miss Smith) and I stepped back to allow them to pass but the dog jumped at me again.

“It clamped onto my arm through my jacket and when the woman shouted and tried to get it off me, it bit harder. The dog held on for about two minutes before it tore through the jacket.”

Miss Moses said that Miss Horton sustained four puncture wounds to her arm that needed stitches, as well as bruising in the area.

During a police interview, Miss Smith said she had owned the dog since it was a puppy, but that, at the time of the incident, she had recently taken it back from her ex partner who she believed had encouraged it to become aggressive.

Claire Fitzpatrick, mitigating, said: “Miss Smith was absolutely devastated by what happened.

“She immediately and physically handed the dog over to police and said that it cannot be allowed to hurt anyone.

“When she took the dog back she thought it was alright and would not have kept it if she knew how it was likely to behave. She apologises profusely and offered to pay comepnsation straight away. The dog has been destroyed.”

Miss Smith was given a conditional discharge and was ordered to pay £500 to Miss Horton in compensation.