Two Staffordshire Bull Terriers owned by a top dog show judge savaged and killed a Jack Russell, as her owner was repeatedly bitten as she had tried to save her pet.
One of the dogs, which hadn't been on leads, gripped little Judy's neck and the other went for her stomach as they began their horrific attack. Judy's petrified owner, Jan Bailey, was screaming for help and suffered injuries to both her hands as she fought to free her dog.
Judy was so seriously hurt she had to be put down and Miss Bailey, of Colne, was left in acute pain and had to go to hospital, Blackburn Magistrates' Court was told.
Frankie and Honey, the two young bitches which mauled Judy, are owned by Terence "Tec" Norton, a Kennel Club approved Staffordshire Bull Terrier judge. He has had the animals since they were puppies. The dogs weren't insured.
Norton (71) of Chatburn Park Avenue, Brierfield, admitted being the owner of a dog which was dangerously out of control, causing injury to Ms Bailey, in Brierfield, last December 11th. He had no previous convictions. The dogs were spared immediate destruction.
Norton was fined £200 and ordered to pay £500 compensation to Miss Bailey for her injuries. He must also pay a £30 victim surcharge and £85 costs.
District Judge James Clarke imposed a contingent destruction order on the animals, meaning they will not be put down if Norton obeys all the conditions. He must take out lifetime third party insurance for both dogs. The animals must also be kept on a fixed lead less than two metres in length and be muzzled in public and the defendant must not walk the two dogs together unless somebody else is with him.
Prosecutors told the court that Jan Bailey, who was with her friend, was walking Judy on a lead on a public footpath between Reedley Road and Quaker Bridge at 11-30am when the two "biggish" Staffordshire Bull Terriers immediately ran towards them and set upon her dog. They were off the lead and there didn't appear to be anybody with them.
Parveen Akhtar (prosecuting) said: "They ran over to Judy and attacked her. One of the dogs was biting Judy's neck and the other her stomach."
In a victim impact statement, Miss Bailey told how since the traumatic incident, she had suffered flashbacks and considerable anxiety and stress. She was now fearful of dogs, particularly Staffordshire Bull Terriers.
Miss Bailey, who said walking Judy had been a "huge part of my life" added: "I have suffered nightmares and am still tearful when I think about or talk about the incident and the tragic loss in terrible circumstances of my beloved and elderly dog."
Norton, who was not represented by a solicitor, told the hearing: "Staffordshire Bull Terriers don't pose a threat to humans, certainly not my dogs. I still can't believe it actually happened. I dashed over and managed to get one dog away straight away. I managed to get the other dog off."
"We have had this breed of dog since the mid seventies. We must have had 20 or 30 dogs in that time and we have never had any third party problems with other dogs, or people for that matter."
Sentencing Norton, District Judge Clarke told him: "I am satisfied there was no prior warning the dogs would behave in an aggressive manner. I am satisfied they do not constitute a danger to public safety."