A COURT was powerless to impose conditions on the control of a dog which attacked a 65-year-old woman – because its ownership has changed.
Maria Carecci was left needing hospital treatment after the American bulldog clamped onto her arm after escaping from a garden in Winshill.
She had stopped to talk to a friend in Dunedin Crescent when the dog approached, Burton Magistrates' Court heard. It first tried to grab her umbrella before biting her arm.
Mother-of-three Emily Savage, who owned the dog at the time and appeared in court yesterday, was unaware the attack was taking place, believing her pet to be securely locked in a shed.
Nick Wenden, defending, said: "When she was home the dog was inside the property but when she was out, to stop it from chewing things, it was locked inside a shed. But she concedes it might not have been locked, she can't be 100 per cent certain."
Mr Wenden said the dog had grown up around children, regularly playing and 'rolling around' with them at the family home in Dunedin Crescent.
However, magistrates were thwarted in their attempts to attach conditions to the ownership of the American bulldog, called Stella, such as having it muzzled in public, after being told they no longer had the power to do so as, following the attack, which happened in March, Savage had returned the dog to its breeder, who lives in nearby Melbourne Avenue.
They instead handed Savage, who pleaded guilty to allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control at a previous hearing, a 12-month community order, which will require her to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.
Following the attack, Ms Carucci was left screaming in pain. She had the wound dressed at Burton Queen's Hospital and was given antibiotics. Savage was told she must pay the victim £350 in compensation.