A GERMAN shepherd dog attacked an international power weightlifter and his girlfriend after its drunken walker could not control its lead, a court heard.

David Myerscough, aged 55, was walking the dog, Max, when it attacked neighbours John Turner and Sarah Obertelli, shortly after they left their home on May 26 last year.

Bolton Crown Court heard the dog ran across the road and bit Mr Turner on the left forearm.

The dog then bit Ms Obertelli on the hand in Neville Close, near Bolton town centre.

Craig MacGregor, prosecuting, said: “Myerscough couldn’t control the dog even though he was shouting at it, slurring his words.”

Mr MacGregor said Mr Taylor, an international power weightlifter, had to stop training after the incident and has suffered from pain and numbness.

He had to take seven days off work and has had physiotherapy sessions since the attack.

Ms Orbetelli suffered tendon damage in her hand. She had lost money by taking two weeks off work following the incident, the court heard.

She also needed physiotherapy for her injury.

The court heard Myerscough, of Neville Close, had been drinking with friends prior to the incident at 11am.

He had been walking Max for his long-term partner Elaine Hardy — but could not work the extendable lead properly.

Guy Richardson, an expert on dangerous dogs, said he went to Myerscough’s home and found the dog to be “friendly and respectful”.

He said there were safety features in the house and added that the defendant was able to control the dog.

He made suggestions on how further incidents could be prevented.

Mark Friend, defending, said: “The events of the that day were entirely a one-off incident and entirely a regrettable one.”

Judge Peter Davies, sentencing, said: “I am quite sure this dog, Max, is an excellent dog but David Myerscough, if you don’t know how to look after him and you aren’t in a fit state to look after him this is what is going to happen.

“I hope this incident has been a compelling lesson to you.”

He added: “If you breach this order it places the dog’s life at peril.”

Myerscough admitted allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control and causing injury.

He was ordered to pay compensation of £300 to each victim. He was also ordered to comply with a catalogue of requirements including keeping the dog on a non-extendable lead, to have it muzzled when out in public and to ensure he has third party liability insurance.