CHILDREN were left terrified and traumatised when a dangerously out of control Staffordshire bull terrier got into their school grounds.
The animal had escaped from a garden in Whitburn and made its way to Marsden Infants and Junior School.
Newcastle Crown Court heard children playing in the yard that lunch time had their clothing bitten by the dog, who was jumping up at them, and some were crying hysterically through fear.
The youngsters were ushered into the school building but had to be evacuated when the animal got inside on March 8 this year.
Nobody was hurt during the incident and the dog had left the area when police arrived.
Prosecutor Geoff Mason told the court: “Teaching assistant Amy Clark was outside the school because it was lunch time and children were playing outside.
“She saw a dog enter the school grounds and immediately start running towards the boys who were playing football on a particular part of the school playground which is for games.
“The dog started to run around after them. It ran to one child on the path who was running away from the dog.
“It was clear the children were frightened. One of the little boys ran and tripped up and fell over.
“The dog started to jump at that boy.
“It then ran to another child and started to jump at him, biting his clothes. That child was in hysterics, crying and screaming for help.
“Teaching staff gathered around to keep the dog away because they believed the dog was about to bite his face.
“The main focus at that point was trying to get the children away by getting them into the school.
“Once the dog got inside the focus became to get them out of the school.”
The court heard police traced the dog to a nearby address and Kevin St Clair admitted he had been in charge of the pet that day, which belonged to his girlfriend.
He said the dog had got out of the house and escaped over a garden fence.
He was out searching for it when it got inside the school.
St Clair, of Rose Crescent, Whitburn, admitted being in charge of a dog which caused injury while dangerously out of control in a public place.
Prosecutors did not make an application for the dog to be destroyed as a police officer who has assessed it at home found it to be an “amenable animal” while properly under control.
Judge David Wood fined St. Clair £200.
Ailsa MacDonald, defending, said the dog has since been neutered and is muzzled while in public.