A MAN who called police to investigate a burglary at his home ended up in court — after his vicious dog bit the officer.

The German Shepherd dog, called Max, went on to attack a pensioner months later and now faces being put down.

Owner Stephen Clifford pleaded guilty to being in charge of a dog which was dangerously out of control, at Bolton Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

The court heard he had been reckless and had no control over the animal.

Clifford, aged 52, of Briercliffe Road, Deane, had called police to report a theft — but when officers arrived, he and his partner were standing outside in the street and the dog was off its lead.

As one police officer, named in court only as PC Hickman approached the couple, the dog walked towards him.

Kirstin Beswick, prosecuting, said: “PC Hickman said he was not scared of dogs so he stood still.

“The dog walked slowly towards him — suddenly it bared its teeth, growled and then jumped at the officer.”

PC Hickman raised his arm to protect himself and was bitten on his left hand. He shouted at the owners to call off the dog but when Clifford called the dog it did not respond.

Defending, Alan Wilson, said the defendant had been more concerned with the theft at his property and had left his gate open by mistake, allowing the dog out on to the street.

Chairman of the bench Kevin Ward warned Clifford, who is currently in custody for an unrelated matter, that he faced further jail time.

He said: “The offence crosses the custody threshold.

“No attempt to control the animal was made. You were reckless and neglectful.

“The harm caused to the PC was an injury requiring hospital treatment.”

Clifford will be sentenced on August 13 along with Karl Dymott, aged 36, of Hibernia Street, Deane.

Dymott, who pleaded guilty to the same charge last month, had been looking after the dog earlier this year when it attacked 63-year-old John Cooper in Briercliffe Road.

Mr Cooper was left with serious injuries following the attack and needed skin grafts at Wythenshawe Hospital.

After the hearing last month, he dubbed the dog “Mad Max”.