Woman felt searing pain as ‘guard dog’ Rottweiler bit her in Hethersett, court hears

PUBLISHED: 09:03 10 March 2018 | UPDATED: 10:17 11 March 2018

A Rottweiler. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A Rottweiler. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto


A Rottweiler caused “searing pain” to its owner’s neighbour in an attack when she popped over to collect a parcel, a court heard.

John Ward’s two-year-old dog, called Mo, attacked the woman at his Hethersett home on September 26 last year.

Norwich Magistrates’ Court heard today how the woman suffered two bite marks on her left ankle.

Ward, 67, of Mill Road, Hethersett, pleaded guilty to being in charge of a dog which was dangerously out of control.

Prosecutor Jane Walker said: “She [the woman] walked around to pick up the parcel and as she walked back to the gate, she said she felt a searing pain in her left ankle.

“She cried out that the dog had bitten her. She pulled up her trouser leg and could see two bite marks and there was blood coming from them.”

The court heard how Ward had been home at the time and had told the woman the parcel was at the side of his property.

In a statement, the victim said she was “shocked” at what had happened.

She said while the defendant initially helped her, when she looked back she did not see him “chastise” the dog in “any way”.

Ms Walker told the court that two other members of the public had said there were issues with the dog.

“They did no believe Mr Ward was in control of it,” she said.

In police interview, Ward told officers he used Mo as a guard dog, and walked it while he was in a wheelchair as he is paralysed from the waist down.

Simon Nicholls, representing Ward, who appeared in court in an electric wheelchair, said the animal had “nipped” the woman.

He said the dog was bought to accompany Ward’s other dog, a Labrador, and said it was not a trained guard dog.

Instead, he said it was there to serve as a “deterrent” at night.

He said Ward’s dog was always muzzled during walks.

The court heard how Ward was injured while working as a stable boy when he was younger. A horse kicked him in the face and the impact damaged his spine, Mr Nicholls said.

Magistrates ordered Ward to pay £330 in compensation, a £200 fine and £85 court costs.

He was also ordered to keep the dog muzzled at all times when outside the house and while in the garden.

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