Worksop: Pet terriers are spared by the court after vicious attack

Worksop Magistrates court
Worksop Magistrates court

A dog owner waited three months for the courts to decide if his beloved pet terriers would be destroyed after they viciously bit a woman’s leg in a ‘one off’ attack.

David Northage, 41, of Vessey Road, Worksop, first appeared before Worksop Magistrates’ Court in April.

Ruth Snodin, prosecuting, told the court that Northage had accidentally left the dogs outside after taking the bin out.

He claimed he was on medication for his back which ‘made him drowsy’ and caused him to forget to let the dogs back in.

The two dogs then broke out of the garden and attacked a woman who was visiting her son next door, causing significant bruising to her legs.

Mrs Snodin added that Northage had no previous convictions and admitted the incident was down to ‘lack of concentration’.

Northage, who pleaded guilty to owning dogs that caused injury in a public place, told the court that the attack was a ‘total one off’.

He said he was ‘shocked’ about what had happened as he trusted the dogs with his own young grandchildren.

Magistrates said that they felt the dogs should be destroyed, but wanted to give Northage the opportunity to seek advice on how to control them first.

He reappeared before the court in May after taking the dogs to see a vet, but was told this was not sufficient and that the case would be adjourned again.

After having his pets assessed by a dog specialist, Northage appeared at court for the last time on Thursday 19th June for Magistrates to determine the fate of his pets.

Northage was sentenced to a contingent destruction order, meaning if he does not follow certain measures specified by Magistrates to keep his dogs under control, he will appear in court again and the dogs will be destroyed.

To comply with the order, Northage was told he must keep the dogs muzzled and on a lead while in public places, and ensure one of the terriers, who was male, was taken to a vet to be castrated as soon as possible.

Magistrates also recommended attendance to a training class.

Northage was also ordered to pay a £165 fine, £85 court costs, £20 victim surcharge and £50 compensation to the complainant.