Dog which bit man won’t be destroyed

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Magistrates have ruled that a dog which bit a man in Buxton and left him needing a skin graft does not need to be immediately destroyed.

Instead, they placed a contingent destruction order on Border Collie Jeff, meaning that if his owner Edna Salt complies with a number of conditions, he will not be destroyed.

High Peak Magistrates’ Court heard on Monday how Gerald Crutchley had been walking along Waterswallows Road on June 8 when Jeff went running past him before turning and biting him on his lower leg.

Mr Crutchley spoke to Salt and said ‘do you know what your dog has done to me’ but Salt ignored him and walked away.

Blood was coming through his trouser leg and he asked Salt for a bandage but she refused to help him, prosecutor Jennifer Fitzgerald said.

A passer-by then stopped to help and gave Mr Crutchley a scarf to wrap around his leg before calling an ambulance.

He was taken to Stepping Hill Hospital where he was found to have an open flap of skin on his shin and several puncture wounds.

He needed surgery the next day to clean the wound and assess the damage caused.

He also required plastic surgery for the wound and in a victim personal statement, said the incident meant he hadn’t been able to do what he wanted for several months.

The incident involving Mr Crutchley was not the first time Jeff had bitten someone, the court heard.

In May 2007, a man walking past Salt’s farm on Waterswallows, was bitten on the leg just below the kneecap.

On that occasion, police advised Salt on the best way to prevent Jeff being a danger to the public.

In September 2012, a runner was bitten on the bottom of his leg by Jeff, followed by another incident in November 2013, when a walker was bitten, both on Waterswallows Road.

Salt, 69, admitted being the owner of a dog that was dangerously out of control.

Annis Rowlands, defending, said Salt suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and found it difficult to deal with confrontation which is why she did not help Mr Crutchley

She added: “Jeff is a working dog and she has had him since he was a puppy.

“He is not only a pet who helps with Miss Salt’s mental health issues, he is an essential farm asset.”

Magistrates fined Salt £75, ordered her to pay £85 costs, a £20 surcharge and £500 compensation to Mr Crutchley.

She must also comply with the order which has a number of conditions including keeping Jeff muzzled in public.