Hugo had learned to open a back door using the handle
The American pit bull had been returned to a family home after he was deemed safe.
Rebecca Porteous was spared jail (Picture: North News)A pet dog who had learned to open a back door using the handle attacked four people just weeks after police deemed him safe to live in a family home.American pit bull Hugo had been seized by Northumbria Police and examined but was returned to Rebecca Porteous, 22, who had a three-year-old child, after it was concluded he was good-natured.
The animal was subject to a suspended death sentence and was supposed to be kept muzzled when in public, Newcastle Crown Court heard.But he had developed the ability to let himself out of Porteous’ back door in Hebburn, North East England, and got out as a youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, walked a small dog past the house in on October 15 last year at around 6pm.
AdvertisementAdvertisementHugo scaled the back wall in Whickham Road and began to attack the other dog, who was picked up by its owner, who was injured in the process.The pit bull continued trying to bite the other dog and brave passer-by Michelle Green then tried to assist by kicking Hugo.
He then mauled her, leaving her with serious wounds and mental and physical scars.American pitbull Hugo attacked three people (Picture: North News)When owner Porteous tried to intervene, she too was bitten on the arm and thigh and when her dad arrived at the scene, he was also attacked by the dog.
Police marksmen were called and Hugo, who was ‘showing an interest in getting into the house by pressing down on the handle’ where Porteous and her three-year-old daughter were was shot.Now Porteous – who had assumed responsibility for the dog when her partner, who bought him, died – has been given a suspended prison sentence after she admitted being the owner of a dangerous dog that caused injury.
The court heard there had been a query about the breed and a decision was taken to remove him to be assessed early last summer.Hugo was returned under a contingent destruction order – described as a suspended death sentence, which was issued on August 14, 2019.
Peter Schofield, prosecuting, said: ‘There was no real concern shown in respect of temperament and personality.‘Rebecca Porteous was considered a fit and proper person to look after it.’Owner Rebecca Porteous was also injured by her dog (Picture: North News)
Ms Green suffered the most serious injuries, needed surgery and has been left with severe scarring to her arm.She said in a victim impact statement: ‘If I see a dog coming towards me I now freeze and raise my arms.‘I previously had no issues with dogs but I’ve now become apprehensive.’
Judge Tim Gittins sentenced Porteous to eight months suspended for 18 months with 80 hours unpaid work.He said he questioned the wisdom of someone with a young child having such a breed but acknowledged the police had determined he was not dangerous.Judge Gittins said such cases ordinarily result in immediate prison sentences but he was taking the ‘wholly exceptional’ course of suspending it because Porteous’ child had already been left without her father after his unexpected death.
The judge added: ‘There was a failure to control Hugo, albeit this was an unexpected event.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘You could have done more to ensure he was behind a locked door when he was not muzzled.’Fiona Lamb, defending, said Hugo had been a ‘loving family pet’ and she had no concerns about him being around her child and other children.
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Which ones Hugo? The one on the left?
Pitbull mauled four people after police deemed it safe to return to family homeHugo was returned to Rebbecca Porteous after police deemed the pitbull good-natured, but he injured four people just weeks later after learning to open the back door at home They can't shoot the moth fucker? Sounds like the police are as thick as pitbull owners. pitbulls
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