A JUDGE has awarded compensation to two Huddersfield women who were attacked by the same dog in the space of a fortnight last summer.
But Judge Jonathon Rose admitted he could only order “nominal amounts” of £150 each to Julie Beggs and Angela Walker after they were attacked by an American bulldog called Macca.
The two-and-a-half-year-old animal was made the subject of a destruction order by a judge earlier this year, but prosecutor Lesley Dickinson told Judge Rose yesterday that she did not know if the order had been carried out.
Judge Rose imposed three-month suspended prison sentences on 49-year-old Yvonne Mellor and her former partner Michael Brewster, 42.
Bradford Crown Court heard how the first attack happened on August 22 when Miss Beggs was on her way to work in the early morning.
Miss Dickinson described how she was walking in the Walpole Road area of Crosland Moor when the unmuzzled bulldog jumped on her shoulders, pushing her the ground.
She said Miss Beggs tried to protect her face and the dog bit her arm.
Mellor, of Sullivan Close, Crosland Moor, arrived and punched the dog to get it off.
Miss Beggs suffered puncture wounds to her upper right arm and back and her coat was also damaged in the attack.
Mellor, who admitted being the owner of a dog which caused injury while being dangerously out of control in respect of that attack, had her three-month prison term suspended for a year.
Twelve days later Miss Walker was attacked as she was out walking – again in the Crosland Moor area.
This time the dog jumped at her and bit her on the left arm.
“She was aware of two males approaching and they began to punch and kick the dog to get it off,” said Miss Dickinson.
Miss Walker had to undergo two operations at hospital and had 27 stitches put in six puncture wounds.
Brewster, also of Sullivan Close, pleaded guilty to being in charge of out-of-control Macca at the time of the attack. His three-year jail term was also suspended for 12 months.
During police interviews it was said that the dog had escaped through a gate which had been left open. But Judge Rose said it was the defendants’ fault that the two women had suffered serious attacks.
“I would like to compensate them to a significant amount, but I have to have in mind your financial circumstances,” noted the judge.
Both Mellor and Brewster were ordered to do 120 hours’ community service work and they will each have to pay £150 to each victim at the rate of £5 per week.
“The small amount of compensation that I have ordered is in no way intended to be a true reflection of the horrible injuries these two ladies suffered,” added Judge Rose. “It is a nominal amount. I wish I could do more, but I can’t.”