Dog owner avoids jail after pets attacked 10-year-old girl

David Perry has been charged in connection with an axe attack at the Bell Hotel in Clare

Karen Duff was handed a suspended sentence at Suffolk Magistrates' Court - Credit: ARCHANT

A woman has been handed a suspended prison sentence after her two German shepherd dogs attacked a 10-year-old girl in a Suffolk village. 

Karen Duff, 53, had denied two charges of being the person in charge of a dog dangerously out of control causing injury in Capel St Mary but was convicted following a trial at Suffolk Magistrates' Court on March 15. 

The two dogs - named Ruby and Rhodie - were out of control when they injured the young girl on Windmill Hill, Capel St Mary, on August 3, 2020. 

A pre-sentence report was ordered by magistrates following Duff's conviction in March. 

The court heard that she had no previous convictions. 

At her sentencing hearing before magistrates in Ipswich on Thursday, Duff, of Windmill Hill, was told the offences were "serious". 

She was sentenced to six months' imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, with 25 rehabilitation activity requirement days. 

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Duff was also handed a indefinite ban on owning or keeping a dog. 

Magistrates also ordered an immediate destruction order for Ruby. Duff's other dog, Rhodie, had previously died. 

Duff must also pay £500 in court costs, £500 in compensation to the victim, and a victim surcharge of £128.