Owner jailed after attack in street
10:00am Saturday 15th September 2012 in News
THE owner of a dangerous dog that savaged a Yorkshire terrier to death has been jailed.
Ben Cox, aged 25, was sent to prison for 10 weeks after his Staffordshire bull terrier, Chaos, escaped from a back yard and attacked a Yorkshire terrier called Rosie that was being walked in nearby Blackshaw Lane, Deane.
Rosie’s owner, Mark Raftery, said he had cried every day since witnessing the horrific attack.
Cox pleaded guilty to being the owner of a dog that was dangerously out of control.
But yesterday Cox, of Netherfield Road, Great Lever, told Bolton Magistrates Court that his dog had run away and disappeared when he took it for a walk in the park and it jumped over a fence while chasing a cat.
He said that he could not find the animal but did not report it to the police or RSPCA.
District Judge Jonathan Finestein said he did not believe Cox’s explanation, however, and sent him to jail.
Last week Cox was remanded in custody after entering his plea and claiming not to know where the dog is. He was released on bail earlier this week by a judge at Bolton Crown Court.
Judge Finestein said yesterday that he took the case very seriously because a “potentially lethal dog which mercilessly killed a small dog” is still at large.
He expressed concern that it could do the same to another dog or child, and ordered that it should be destroyed.
Judge Finestein said: “You were in charge of a Staffordshire bull terrier at the time of this offence when for reasons not entirely clear the dog became loose and savaged to death a Yorkshire terrier.
“Not only was the victim disturbed by the ferocity of the attack, but has suffered the loss of a loved pet in horrible circumstances.
“As far as the location of the dog is concerned, you have given an account on oath which I wholly reject.
“So this very dangerous dog is on your account still on the loose.
“The order of the court is 10 weeks in custody.
Should you tell me where the dog is I would consider reviewing my decision in those changed circumstances.”
Mr Raftery, of Fernstead, Deane, was walking Rosie and another dog when Cox’s dog attacked. Steve Woodman, prosecuting, said: “The family was very upset by it being savagely killed.”
Sean Harkin, defending Cox, told the court that the probation service recommended a community order.
Judge Finestein said that he “couldn’t care less” about what the probation service said and that they often got it wrong.