A bull terrier alleged to have mauled a man to death was “very friendly” and rolled on her back when she was examined by a dog behaviour expert.
Clinical animal behaviourist David Ryan was called in to investigate after the dog, a bitch called Alex, attacked David Ellam, leaving him with fatal injuries.
Mr Ellam, 52, a lollipop man, was bitten repeatedly as he tried to protect his own Yorkshire terrier Rollo.
The attack happened outside Mr Ellam’s home in Riddings Road, Sheepridge, in August 2016.
A neighbour, Arron Joseph, 30, has gone on trial accused of being the owner of a dog which caused death while it was dangerously out of control. He denies the charge.
The trial at Leeds Crown Court heard that Mr Ryan, who has a wealth of experience as a police dog handler, was asked to test the dog’s reactions following the attack.
His conclusion was that she behaved very differently in kennels compared with her more confident behaviour on her home turf.
Asked by prosecutor Richard Walters about his first impressions he said he thought “she looked a little anxious.”
Asked what her demeanour was he replied: “Very submissive, very deferential, very friendly towards me. She rolled over on her back.”
Asked what that signified he said: “I’m friendly, don’t hurt me.”
Mr Walters said: “Did she show any aggression during your time with her?” Mr Ryan said: “None whatsoever.”
He was then asked whether what happened was “in any way foreseeable?”
Mr Ryan said: “I’m aware that she had bitten people before. It was entirely foreseeable that if she had done it once or twice she would do it again unless physically prevented from doing so.”
He was cross-examined by defence counsel Katherine Pierpoint who asked him whether “the extent of the attack on Mr Ellam could be foreseen?”
Mr Ryan replied: “No, I don’t believe it could.”
Asked about the extent of the attack he said that, sadly, persistence was an important part of the “bull breed. It’s what they do. They don’t back down.”
The trial continues.