MAGISTRATES have sentenced a dog to death after it attacked someone for the second time in three years.

At Bolton Magistrates’ Court Sonia Hurst was told she has to take her six-year-old Dogue de Bordeaux, named Brock, to a vet within 21 days to be destroyed.

Hurst, aged 47, of Lakeside Avenue, Great Lever, wept as she was informed of the decision. At a previous hearing she had pleaded guilty to being in charge of a dog that was dangerously out of control.

Victoria Empson, prosecuting, told the court how Brock, a large mastiff-type breed, had escaped in 2014 and bit someone after which the court ordered that he should be muzzled and kept on a lead in public or face destruction.

But she added that on May 14 this year Sheryl Darlington was walking home along Lakeside Avenue at 6.30pm.

“She saw a Beagle-type dog running towards her with another dog which she took to be a Rottweiler-type dog,” said Ms Empson.

The second dog jumped up at Mrs Darlington and grabbed hold of her left arm.

“She was screaming at the dog to let go,” said Ms Empson.

The dog briefly released her before biting her on the thigh and then twice more on her arm before jumping up at her face.

“She saw her life flash before her eyes and thought it was going to kill her and she would not see her husband and daughter again,” added Ms Empson.

The dog finally let go after she shouted and Mrs Darlington, bleeding, ran up the street where a neighbour came out to help her and drove her to hospital.

She suffered cuts to her fingers, bruising and swelling and the court was told that she still has numbness in her arm, has difficulty sleeping and is anxious around dogs.

Magistrates were told that Hurst, who had been at home that the time of the attack, was not aware of the incident or that the dog had escaped until told by Mrs Darlington’s husband.

“The only explanation she could think of was that the gardener had left the garage door open,” said Ms Empson.

Adam Whittaker, defending, stressed that Hurst was a responsible pet owner and had previously taken steps to ensure the dogs were secure, raising the height of her fence to 8ft and increasing her insurance.

“At the time of the incident my client had very recently employed a new gardener,” said Mr Whittaker.

“He had strict instructions to secure the garage.”

He added that the attack on Mrs Darlington had lasted no more than 15 to 20 seconds and a police officer had described the injuries as not serious.

“It has bitten in an almost playful manner,” said Mr Whittaker.

Magistrates fined Hurst £200 and ordered her to pay £115 in costs and charges and chairman of the bench, George MacGregor, told Hurst that Brock must be destroyed.

“We are satisfied that the dog does pose a danger to the public,” he said.

However she will not be banned from keeping other pets.

“We have found that you are a fit and proper person to keep dogs and animals in general and therefore we do not disqualify you from keeping animals in future,” added Mr MacGregor.