When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
Owner jailed for dog attacks
A SAVAGE attack by two dogs has been described by a police officer as the worst she has ever seen.
Christopher Smith, of Aldebarton Drive, Barton, Oxford, was jailed for four months yesterday because of “horrific” injuries inflicted by his pets.
A judge ordered the destruction of the pair of pitbull/Staffordshire bull terrier cross-breeds after they were allowed to “run riot” on December 15 last year. Smith was disqualified from owning any dogs indefinitely.
Three people were taken to hospital after the attack, including grandmother Sushil Giddy, 56, who suffered two wounds to her right arm and another to her left leg.
She spent seven days in hospital and had to have plastic surgery and skin grafts to repair the damage.
Pensioner Ken Deadman, 68, spent nine hours at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital after being bitten on his upper left arm.
The pair had come out of their homes at around 8am after hearing their neighbour Donna Dawson screaming because she had been bitten on the wrist.
Speaking after the hearing, investigating officer Pc Kelly Gladstone said the attack was “the worst I have ever seen”, adding: “This was a particularly vicious attack and the victims are still recovering from their injuries.
“I commend them for their support and strength throughout.
“Along with the CPS, our priority has been to make sure that these dogs never hurt anyone ever again and that Christopher Smith is not in a position where he will ever have another dog.”
Oxford Crown Court heard how the animals ran out through a door left open by 30-year-old Smith following a heated argument with his mother.
The unemployed father-of-one threw a TV at a Christmas tree inside the house, before storming out. His dogs – called Sky and Rex – followed him. Jane Malcolm, defending, said they only attacked out of an instinct “to protect their owner”.
But Judge Mary Jane Mowat rejected this explanation and said Smith had been prosecuted before for not keeping his dogs under control.
In November 2009 he was convicted of a similar offence and was ordered to keep both dogs on leads and make sure Sky wore a muzzle in public.
Judge Mowat said: “No-one was trying to attack him, the dogs got wound up by what happened inside and then ran riot when they got out.”
After the hearing Mr Deadman said the attack left him unable to use his arm or drive for three weeks.
He said: “The owner deserved what he got. I had a really bad bite on my arm.
“I couldn’t use it for three weeks because it was so stiff. I couldn’t even drive.
“I just opened the door and it jumped at me.”
Smith was given four months in prison for being in charge of a dangerously out-of-control dog that injured someone.
He was also jailed for 14 days for possessing cannabis, to run at the same time. He admitted all the charges.
A spokesman for the RSPCA said the charity favours licensing dog owners to make them more accountable.
She said: “We believe that preventative measures, such as dog control notices, are required as well as introduction of dog registration to improve dog owners’ accountability, deter casual acquirers of dogs and fund owner-education services.”
Mrs Giddy did not wish to comment. Her daughter Natasha previously told the Oxford Mail her mother was “traumatised” by the attack and the animals should be put down due to the severity of her injuries.