Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Witness to Dog Attack Tells Court of Horror and Chaos

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Witness to Dog Attack Tells Court of Horror and Chaos

Article excerpt

Byline: SARA NICHOL Reporter @SaraNichol10

THE alleged owner of a dog who savaged 12 children in a park said "not again" when she was told of the attack, a court heard.

Claire Neal is accused of being the registered keeper of Marley, the brown Staffordshire bull terrier that bit the youngsters in a play area in Blyth last May.

Prosecutors claim her co-defendant Leanne Patterson was in charge of the animal at the time when it escaped from Neal's front garden.

Both deny the offences and are standing trial at Newcastle Crown Court. Giving evidence on Thursday, a parent of one of the young victims described coming across a scene of horror as he raced to the park, in Burns Avenue, after hearing of the attack. He said: "It was chaos - people, kids, adults everywhere all screaming and crying. It was mostly children but there were adults screaming too."

The dad said, among the panic, he managed to see his child with horrific wounds to her leg.

He told jurors: "Her leg looked like Swiss cheese with puncture wounds and there was a big gash as well. From what I can remember, it was just one leg but the gash was about one inch long and one inch wide. It was deep."

Giving his evidence on day two of the trial, the dad said he saw the dog with blood on its teeth and mouth after it had been tied to a fence and managed to track down Neal, who he thought was the owner, on social media. He told the jury he immediately went round to her house on Chasedale Crescent, where Patterson answered the door.

The dad said: "Claire then came out and she started crying. She said "Oh no, not again". She said she gave the dog away to someone in Gosforth. I was really angry and upset."

Stephen Grattage, prosecuting, also read a statement to the court from one of the young female victims, who was in the park with a pal. …

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