Dog who bit workman gets reprieve

A DOG owner who was told her Alsatian would have to be put down after biting a heating engineer has spoken of her relief after her pet was granted a reprieve.

Jane Hunt

A DOG owner who was told her Alsatian would have to be put down after biting a heating engineer has spoken of her relief after her pet was granted a reprieve.

Wendy Hainsworth was devastated after four-year-old Duke was given a death sentence by magistrates in June after he ran out of the front door of her home in Waterford Road, Ipswich, and attacked a workman who was getting tools out of his van.

The engineer suffered abrasions to his arm and was prescribed a course of antibiotics following the incident in December last year.


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Hainsworth, 56, appealed against the destruction order and a crown court judge ordered that Duke would not have to be put down if Hainsworth kept him under proper control in the future.

Judge Peter Fenn warned that the dog should only be allowed into Hainsworth's front garden on a lead and stressed it should not be left unattended.

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“If Duke misbehaves and is out of control again he will be destroyed,” said the judge.

After the hearing Hainsworth said: “I am very relieved and emotional. I love my dog to bits and I am so relieved I could cry.”

Lawyer Helen Booth told the court that heating engineer Colin Aldridge had parked his van opposite Hainsworth's house while he serviced a boiler in the road.

While he was getting tools out of his van Duke ran towards him and “attached” himself to his left forearm.

Miss Booth said although the skin on Mr Aldridge's arm wasn't punctured he did suffer abrasions and had sought medical treatment at the town's Riverside Clinic.

Miss Booth said that in February 2008 a policeman who was visiting Hainsworth's house had been forced to climb up a lamppost for safety after Duke escaped from the house and chased him into the street.

However, on another occasion when police officers visited the property Duke had been in the garden and had not caused any trouble.

Miss Booth said that when Hainsworth appeared before magistrates in June she had admitted allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control.

In addition to making a destruction order the magistrates had ordered Hainsworth to pay �200 costs and �200 compensation to Mr Aldridge.

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