Dog walker is fined after vicious attack

A Staffordshire bull terrier
A Staffordshire bull terrier
Share this article

A PET owner has escaped jail after allowing the dog she was looking after to be dangerously out of control and cause injury to a neighbour.

Theresa Miskimmin has been banned from keeping or caring for any dogs and the owner has been forced to destroy the pet.

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court heard that Miskimmin was in charge of the dog, “Whinney”, when it escaped from her home in Pingot Court, Leigh, and proceeded to jump up, snap and bite neighbour Dawn Johnson last year.

This is just a couple of miles away from where schoolgirl Jade Anderson was mauled to death by a pack of dogs in 2013.

Fortunately on that occasion Ms Johnson suffered minor injuries and so didn’t report the incident.

However, prosecuting Katie Beattie said on February 25 this year Ms Johnson was walking through Leigh when she saw Miskimmin walking the Staffordshire bull terrier who belongs to her daughter’s boyfriend, on a lead.

Ms Beattie added that it looked as though the dog was pulling Miskimmin along.

She said: “The victim was terrified.”

Ms Johnson walked across the road to escape the pet but it spotted her and ran towards her jumping up.

Ms Beattie explained: “The dog then bit her and she felt immediate pain and blood running down her leg.”

She added: “The victim was shaking with fear.”

Ms Johnson attended Wigan Infirmary after the incident to get the wound dressed and cleaned up.

She suffered from teeth marks, bruising and bleeding from the incident.

Ms Beattie added that the victim is now scared to go outside as she has been bitten twice and in a statement to police said Miskimmin couldn’t control the dog.

Defending Colin Rawson told the court that there was no hatred between the two parties.

He said: “My client is of slender build and as far as she aware she just wanted to help out her family in looking after Whinney but the dog was to powerful.”

Mr Rawson went on to say that Miskimmin hasn’t seen the dog since the incident in February.

He added: “My client has been shook up since the whole incident. She thought she was just doing a favour to her family.”

Miskimmin was given a 12 month community order which means she has to complete 80 hours unpaid work.

The 55-year-old was disqualified from keeping or looking after any dogs for five years.

Magistrates’ also ordered the destruction of the dog.

Miskimmin was ordered to pay £50 compensation to the victim for the first incident and £100 compensation for the second incident.

She was also told to pay £100 costs and £60 victim surcharge.