A man whose Rottweiler dog bit a young schoolgirl in the street and then bit one of her teachers just minutes later agreed to the dog being put down, a judge has heard.
Owner O’Neill Gill had pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to two charges of having a dog which caused injury while dangerously out of control.
It was originally indicated that Gill (38) of Nunts Lane, Holbrooks, Coventry, intended to challenge any order for the Rottweiler, called Rottie, to be destroyed.
But at a resumed hearing, the court was told the dog, which had been held in police kennels where it was said to have undergone veterinary treatment, had now been put down at Gill’s request.
And after it was said that the dog had had no history of aggressive behaviour prior to the incident in April last year, Gill was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £250 compensation to each of the victims.
Prosecutor Stuart Clarkson said that on April 27 Gill was walking Rottie on a lead along Nunts Lane at shortly after 4pm as children were heading home from a nearby school.
As a girl aged 10 or 11 passed them, without any warning the dog bit her to her right forearm before being pulled away by Gill.
The girl rushed back to the school where she was given first-aid treatment for bruising caused by the bite.
Just minutes later the second victim approached Gill, who was still in the street with the Rottweiler, and asked him whether the dog was friendly.
Gill, looking towards where the first incident had taken place, replied with honesty: “I used to think so.”
It was then that Rottie jumped up and bit her, also on the forearm, causing four puncture wounds, for which she received treatment at hospital.
Mr Clarkson, who accepted Gill could not have anticipated what would happen in the first incident, said the dog was seized by the police and placed in kennels.
“There was to be an application for the destruction of the dog, which has died in any event,” he added.
Raymond Ali, defending, explained: “It was in custody with the police, and was put down at the request of the defendant.”
And he added: “It’s thought children from this particular school had previously thrown stones at the dog, and one of these victims was wearing the same uniform.
“I understand one of the victims was an adult teacher at the school where the other was a pupil. While the defendant’s wife was attending the schoolchild, the teacher came across and put her hand out.”
In relation to compensation, Mr Ali said that Gill, who has two young children, receives housing benefit and works two days a week, earning £400 a month.
Recorder Roger Evans, who accepted the dog had no history of bad behaviour, told Gill: “You have pleaded guilty to having a dangerous dog in a public place which caused injury to two people.
“Both incidents took place within minutes. Why the dog did this, there is no real explanation on the papers.
“Whatever the truth of the matter, you have very sensibly agreed to the dog being put down, and the danger to the public no longer exists.”