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Muttley escapes and bites two Newent residents

By Ben_Falconer  |  Posted: May 20, 2014

Stroud Magistrates Court

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AN ESCAPE plotted by Muttley and his canine pal saw his owner told to keep him under control while the man who was looking after him walked free from court.

Muttley the Staffordshire Bull Terrier gnawed through a wooden fence and bit two people, a court heard.

Owner James Robertson did not object to the civil complaint of a control order but Thomas Paul Merchant, who looked after Muttley and his pal Ozzy, while Mr Robertson was on holiday, was found not guilty of allowing him to be out of control and causing injury.

Muttley bit two people on their ankles, causing minor injuries, Stroud Magistrates’ Court heard on Monday.

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Dafydd Paxton, prosecuting, said Mr Robertson, 24, was on holiday when his dog Muttley and his housemate’s Ozzy escaped on June 28 last year from the back garden of his Croft Close, Newent home.

“Muttley got out of an enclosed rear garden and bit two neighbours causing them minor injuries to their feet and ankles,” said Mr Paxton, on Monday, May 19, during the prosecution of Mr Merchant.

“There was a small hole behind a barbecue and it had been widened so that they dogs could get out. One was aggressive and the other was not.”

Neighbour Leonard Brown, who knew the dog and Mr Robertson well, had to chase Muttley off with a broom, said Mr Paxton.

“I parked my van and found his dog around my legs,” Mr Brown told police. “His dog was very aggressive. I was quite surprised.

“He was biting my leg and trousers. He was being really nasty. I went back to my van and heard a commotion outside and woman shouting - she was clearly petrified.”

He fended Muttley away from her with his broom but not before Caroline Goulding, who was visiting her mum, was bitten too.

Mr Merchant, 19, of Hyde Park Corner, Redmarley, was checking the dogs during the day but could not have known the dogs had chewed through the fence, said Tim Burrows, defending. The bench agreed and cleared him of two charges.

Mr Robertson, who has since erected a 7ft-high metal fence to keep the pair in the garden, agreed to keep Muttley on a lead and muzzled in public.

He was ordered to pay £200 towards prosecution costs.

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