Police warn of a rising trend in dog attacks

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THREE people in Doncaster are injured every month in dog attacks according to police figures - with the number rising.

The South Yorkshire Police statistics have been released in the light of the latest two prosecutions involving dog owners go before the courts.

In one of them, the victims of a horrific attack are being asked to help a judge decide the animal’s fate.

Last year, there were 32 reported crimes involving dogs injuring people in Doncaster. So far this year, there have already been 29 incidents.

One victim is Jessica Garbutt, four, who was scarred for life and needed plastic surgery after a neighbour’s Staffordshire bull terrier clamped its jaws round her leg on a visit to her great-grandmother’s home, in Schofield Street, Mexborough. The dog’s owner, former drug dealer Naomi Drury, 39, is to be sentenced next month after admitting allowing a dangerous dog to be out of control.

Doncaster Crown Court Judge Jacqueline Davies must decide if the dog, Fudge, should be allowed home from custody in police kennels.

The case has been adjourned to allow Jessica’s mum, Claire Garbutt, of Swinton, to give her views about the dog continuing to be kept next door to her grandmother’s house.

Prosecutor Carl Fitch said the attack had affected Jessica in ‘a profound way’ because of the bite scars and psychological issues with dogs.

Keeping the dog in police custody since the attack last February has cost the taxpayer £2,500.

The court heard Fudge burst through a gate at Drury’s home and jumped up at Jessica, becoming aggressive as her mum picked her up to protect her. Fudge jumped and bit Mrs Garbutt on the hip and the child.

Her barrister, Edward Moss said: “This animal can be controlled in a way that it would not present a threat to the general public,”

A Woodlands woman is due to be sentenced for a similar offence with a German Shepherd.