‘I’ll never forget the scream’: Community ‘at wits end’ over attack on dog

The Jack Russell terrier is 'lucky  to be alive' after being attacked. ANL-170910-123556001
The Jack Russell terrier is 'lucky to be alive' after being attacked. ANL-170910-123556001

Neighbours of a Hogsthorpe dog owner are ‘at their wits end’ because the animals are getting out and terrorising the community, a court has been told.

Julie Ellen Allen, 55, of Helsey Lane, was appearing for sentence following convictions for being the owner of three Alsation dogs that were ‘dangerously out of control’ in a sheep field off Helsey Lane, and also, on a separate occasion, bit a Jack Russell terrier belonging to one of her neighbours.

The magistrates ordered that Mrs Allen carry out 150 hours of unpaid work for the community and pay £121 in compensation to the owner of the Jack Russell and £300 in fines and costs.

They also imposed a contingency destruction order on the three dogs and ordered that they must be muzzled at all times when not on the property and must be on a lead and in the control of an adult over the age of 17.

Watching the sentencing was Debbie Willson, the owner of the Jack Russell, who has been campaigning for action to be taken against the dogs, along with her neighbours.

Mrs Willson, of Helsey Farm, told the Standard afterwards: “I’ll never forget the scream from my dog when he was attacked - it was hideous. If the injury hadn’t been to its back end he wouldn’t be here now.

“We’ve had four years of the dogs running loose and now there is a death sentence on them. That is the saddest thing. We are all dog lovers and if they had been trained we would not be here now.

”The court cases and sentencing have been a long time coming and in my opinion have not gone far enough to protect the community.”

Prosecuting, Nick Todd said that on August 18 last year, the three dogs got out of the property owned by Mrs Allen and bit the Jack Russell terrier.

He said that in the second incident, on November 29, the dogs were seen in a field containing sheep and that afterwards one sheep was found dead and three others were injured, but Mrs Allen had denied her dogs were responsible for the injuries and there was no evidence to prove they were.

“The neighbours are at their wits’ end,” he told the magistrates. “There have been many complaints made to the police about the dogs getting out but there have been only two convictions.”

He asked the magistrates to impose a suspended destruction order and to make an order for the control of the dogs when they were not on the property.

Mitigating, Beris Brickles said there had ‘never been any proof’ that the dogs had caused the injuries to the sheep. He told the magistrates there had been ‘some attempts to contain the dogs’ but that it had ‘not gone far enough’. Neighbours had made complaints to the RSPCA but there had been ‘no issues’ about 
the way the dogs were cared for.

He said Mrs Allen, who was said to be on ESA, had the care of her two daughters and granddaughter, as well as her husband and father.

Mr Brickles admitted there had been ‘numerous complaints’ from neighbours about Mrs Allen but ‘no proceedings have come about’ and added that she had offered to go into mediation with her neighbours but that ‘had been refused’.