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Dog Handed ‘Suspended Death Sentence’ after Attack

A dog in Tyne and Wear has been handed a ‘suspended death sentence’ after it attacked another dog and its owner.


Sunderland Magistrates’ Court heard how the incident took place on June 24 of this year, as the victim and her partner walked their two small dogs in Rickleton Village Centre.

The Staffordshire bull terrier initially attempted to attack one of the victim’s dogs before biting the woman. Prosecutor Laura Lax also told the court that there were members of the public present at the time of the attack, including young children.

The victim suffered four puncture wounds to her upper right thigh, calf and buttock during the attack. She also had wounds and skin missing from both hands, and has reported being in ‘severe pain’ four months on.

Miss Lax went on to say:

“The witness states that a white Staffordshire bull terrier appeared out of nowhere and started attacking her dogs.

“She describes the dog as extremely aggressive and one of her dogs was bitten.”

Of the dog’s owner, Laura Golden, Miss Lax added:

“This defendant appeared and made no attempts to stop the dog attacking her.

“She eventually realised what was going on and hit the dog with a dog lead and shouted at it to ‘get home’.

“The dog was not on a lead at any time.”

‘No previous signs of aggression’

Sandra Fife, defending, told the court that the dog had been rescued after its previous owner could not afford to look after it. She added that previously, the dog had showed no signs of aggression.

Asking that the dog not be destroyed, Miss Fife produced an expert report from a vet:

“A suspended sentence for the dog is essentially what we are talking about here.

“This dog does not represent any more risk to public safety than any other well kept dog and with muzzle and a lead it will be negligible.”


Miss Golden, 24, of Rickleton Village Centre, admitted being the owner of a dog which ‘caused injury while dangerously out of control’.

The bench ordered that the dog must be secured on a lead at all times by someone over the age of sixteen. It was also ordered that the dog be muzzled or Miss Golden will have to have the dog destroyed.

Miss Golden was also fined a total of £120 and was told to pay £100 compensation to the victim. Additionally she was ordered to pay £43 for the vet’s fees, and £85 costs.

Dog attacks – expert advice

If you have been attacked by a dog, even where the dog did not cause physical harm, you may be entitled to compensation. More information can be found via our ‘Dog Bite Claims’ page.

Whatever your experience involving a dangerous dog attack, speak to our expert team of personal injury solicitors today to discover how we could help you. For further information, call 0800 888 6 888 or email

Source: Sunderland Echo

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