Breeder spared jail after dog bit down on recovering cancer patient for 10 minutes before being tasered by cops
A breeder whose dog escaped and bit into a cancer patient's hand for ten minutes during a horror street attack has kept his freedom – but has been told by a judge "you are a bad owner".
Dalton Rush’s "large" Dutch Herder only let go of the 68-year-old victim's flesh when police tasered the animal.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the dog had already bitten two younger males after it got out of the house, over a 5ft wall, at Caledonian Road, Hylton Castle, in October last year.
After being hit by the police taser's high voltage charge during the pensioner attack, the dog initially went to the ground and then ran back to the house.
Rush, 29, now of Bayswater Avenue, Town End Farm, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to being in charge of a dog which was dangerously out of control and breach of bail by failing to attend a previous court hearing.
Mr Recorder Tony Hawks sentenced Rush to six months imprisonment, suspended for two years and made a conditional destruction order on the dog.
Rush, a former professional boxer and academy footballer, must pay £500 compensation to the injured pensioner.
The order means the dog will not face destruction if Rush abides by conditions which include him obtaining third party insurance for the animal, ensuring it is muzzled outdoors and secured by a double lead in public.
Rush must also take "reasonable" steps to ensure the dog is kept secure when unsupervised and must not sell the animal unless to a "fit and proper" person, who is over 16.
Recorder Hawks told Rush: "If you want your dog to live you will comply with that order."
He added: "If I know anything about dogs I will know there is no such thing as a bad dog, there are bad owners. You are a bad owner.
"It is said you are a breeder and trainer of dogs for security purposes. I am somewhat concerned about that, given the circumstances of this case.
"On the day in question a large Dutch Herder dog got out of the back of your premises.
"It latched onto the arm of a 68-year-old pensioner, just recovering from a cancer operation, who was out and about, minding his own business.
"Such was the severity of the attack on that man, persons present couldn't get the dog off him and he had to have the dog biting his hand for a period of over ten minutes, before the police arrived and they had to taser the dog before it let go."
The court heard the injured victim was left "upset" and feeling cautious about going out again.
John Crawford, defending, said Rush is "truly remorseful" for what happened.
A previous hearing was told the victim, who was recovering from cancer, suffered multiple abrasions and other minor injuries, and the dog had also damaged his clothing.
The case was initially heard at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court before it was transferred to Newcastle Crown Court for sentencing.