A MAN has appeared in court after his bulldog attacked his neighbour while he sat on a mobility scooter.

Victim Lee Hutchinson, 56, was returning home to his ground floor flat on Blackbank Street in Halliwell when the dog attacked him as he entered a communal back yard.

Owner John Walkden, who lived above Mr Hutchinson, was only able to gain control of the dog after punching and kicking it and locking it in a shed.

Mr Hutchinson, who has since died, was left with a bite to his hand which required hospital treatment.

At Bolton Crown Court, Michelle Brown, prosecuting, said Mr Hutchinson had lived below Walkden for five months and was in constant pain and ill health.

On April 26 last year, he was returning home after visiting his son when the black and white bulldog called Shadow leapt on him and bit his arm before also biting his hand.

Ms Brown said Walkden, 56, shouted at the dog, but it only released its grip when he punched and kicked it. He told the victim that he should not have come into the yard before shouting.

Mr Hutchinson took a taxi to his GP where he had a tetanus jab before receiving a stitch to his wound at hospital.

Ms Brown said that this was the second time in a week the dog had attacked someone after it emerged Shadow had also bitten Mr Hutchinson's son Casey.

She added that Walkden had numerous previous convictions including one for burglary in 2017 and he had a "long standing drug habit". She said it was the Crown's view that the dog was a risk to public safety.

John Close, defending, said the incident had caused Walkden, who pleaded guilty of allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control, "a great deal of upset" but he was "realistic" about Shadow's future after owning him for 20 months.

Mr Close said: "It is a terrible tragedy that has happened. He (Walkden) has a solitary life and now he has lost his companion."

Judge Graeme Smith thanked Walkden for having a "realistic view" of proceedings.

"Dogs are not simply an object and you have obviously developed a close bond with Shadow," he said before ordering the destruction of the dog.

Walkden was made the subject of a 12 month community order with a 10 day rehabilitation activity requirement. He will also have to carry out 60 hours of unpaid work.