Sunderland dog owner fined after Staffordshire bull terrier attacked postman

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A woman has been fined after a postman was bitten by her dog when he called at her flat.

Keith Laidlaw, prosecuting, told city magistrates Barry Marshall was delivering to Sarah’s Hewson’s home in Trevarren Drive, Ryhope, when he was bitten by her Staffordshire Bull Terrier “Cassie”.

She honestly believed – and still believes – she had taken reasonable steps.

Jason Smith

Mr Marshall had to pass through a gate to get into the garden, then a second gate to get to the front door.

“He said ‘the dog got hold of me, it was snarling. I was shocked and in pain. I heard someone shout Cassie and the dog ran back inside,’” said Mr Laidlaw.

Mr Marshall had been left with two puncture scars on his arm as a result of the attack.

Hewson, 25, admitted being the owner of a dog which was dangerously out of control.

Jason Smith, for Hewson, said there had been no reason for Mr Marshall to go into the garden where the dog was kept.

“Adequate provision had been made for the delivery of post, so the postman did not have to come past the second gate,” he said.

“On the fence was a metal postbox that obviated the need for the postman to go through that second gate.

“There was no need for Mr Marshall to do that. He was delivering post, he was not delivering a parcel, there was no reason to go there.”

However, Mr Marshall’s role as a postman gave him “permissional rights” to enter where other people would not be allowed to do so, and Hewson was, therefore, pleading guilty, said Mr Smith.

“She honestly believed – and still believes – she had taken reasonable steps,” he added.

Hewson was fined £70 and ordered to pay £100 compensation.