A DRUG dealer’s Rottweiler guard dog escaped his garden and attacked a police officer, biting his hand, a court heard.

Marc Wilson, who was already serving a suspended prison sentence for supplying amphetamines and cannabis, had pleaded guilty to being the owner of a dog, named Rhino, which was dangerously out of control.

Yesterday, at Bolton Magistrates Court, Nicola Bruce, prosecuting, said that at 4am on November 9 Shirley Hodgkinson, was woken by her dogs barking and saw a Rottweiler looking through the back garden gate of her home in Bamber Croft, Westhoughton.

Her husband, Joe called the police, but when Mr Hodgkinson went to open the gate the dog became aggressive, snarling and baring its teeth, before running round to the front and jumping up at the living room window.

She told police she believed the dog belonged to Marc Wilson, aged 28, of nearby Chorley Road.

In a statement she said: “It is always jumping up at the gate when I walk past. It is quite frightening.”

When PC Sumner arrived he got out of his car and tried to identify the dog. His statement said: “The dog then suddenly ran towards me and lunged up at me.”

He ran back to his car after the dog had bitten him, leaving a 2cm bite mark and another puncture wound in his right hand.

The court heard that Rhino and a puppy named Cush escaped from Wilson’s garden through a loose fence panel.

Wilson said the first he knew was when he received a call from Pet Medics to say Cush, who is microchipped, had been found.

Ms Bruce told the court that Wilson claimed to have had Rhino for three years, using him as a guard dog, and he had never attacked his two children, although he had bitten the landlord of a pub when he went to stroke it.

Claire Corser, defending, said Wilson was apologetic over the incident. “He was not present at the time and so he can’t challenge whether it was his dog that bit PC Sumner,” she said.

The case was sent to Bolton Crown Court for sentence on February 1. The court will decide if Rhino will be destroyed.