Dogs spared death penalty after attack

Two Alsatian dogs which attacked and injured a hiker have been spared the death sentence – as long as they are kept on leads and muzzled in public.

The pair of German Shepherds – Tyson, a ‘protection dog’ and Lola – are now under a contingent destruction order which means they won’t be destroyed if owner Colin Nutter (47) keeps to the conditions.

Burnley magistrates had earlier been told how the animals charged towards Francis Galpin and sank their teeth into him as he walked on a public footpath at Dam Head Farm, Roughlee.

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Mr Galpin, just setting out to enjoy a Sunday walk, was bitten on the leg and shoulder, left wounded and scarred and suffered flashbacks and ‘significant distress’ after the incident on June 21st this year.

Five days later, the dogs’ owner, construction worker Mr Nutter was sent a warning letter from Pendle Borough Council to muzzle the dogs and secure his property to prevent Tyson getting out.

Worried residents had raised concerns about the animal repeatedly escaping and had also complained about the dogs barking at all hours.

But, when he failed to respond to warnings, Nutter was issued with a full community protection notice on October 5th.

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The earlier hearing was told father-of-two Nutter said he bought the dogs as family pets after he had been burgled and wanted people to know they were there. He had admitted two counts of being the owner of a dog dangerously out of control, causing injury.

The defendant’s solicitor had earlier told the court Nutter had now followed the orders from the council to muzzle the dogs and to take measures to prevent them escaping.

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The farm had been fenced and the animals couldn’t get out. Sentence had been adjourned and the justices asked for evidence the dogs had been contained.

Nutter has now been back in court.

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He was fined £1,200 and told to pay £650 compensation, £150 costs, a £180 criminal courts charge and a £120 victim surcharge.