St Albans dog owner ordered to muzzle pet after attack on woman

Court report

Court report - Credit: Archant

A man from St Albans, whose Alsatian mounted another dog and attacked the owner, has been ordered to muzzle his dog and pay compensation.

Luigi Spasiano, 46, of Nelson Avenue, St Albans, pleaded guilty to being the owner of a dog which was dangerously out of control and was ordered to pay a total of £380 after his three-year-old dog, Jack, escaped from a back garden near Cell Barnes Lane.

The court heard how Jack then tried to mount a bull terrier belonging to Anesta Edge.

Alan Bordis-Smith, prosecuting, said: “The dog tried to mount [Anesta’s] dog. She tried to get her dog away by lifting it - that didn’t work. Jack then bit her to the thigh.

“It broke the skin, requiring hospital treatment. She was quite panicked and felt quite a lot of pain in her leg.”

The court heard how Spasiano, who required an Italian translator in court, arrived at the scene moments after Jack had attacked Ms Edge.

Mr Bordis-Smith said: “[Spasiano] approached and knew something bad had happened.”

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Jack had never attacked anyone or shown any sign of aggression up until that point, according to police interviews read out in court.

Elizabeth Rebello, defending, explained that Spasiano had pleaded guilty to the offence at the first available opportunity.

She said: “He accepts that the dog was out of control and accepts full responsibility for it.

“But he does describe the dog as a tranquil and placid dog, which has been part of the family for three years, since its birth.

“The dog lives with three children aged eight, 10 and 16 and has had no previous incidents like this.”

In closing, the magistrates said that it was likely a “one off incident” and did not think it was appropriate to have the dog put down.

They did, however, concede that Jack had been “out of control, albeit briefly” and told Spasiano that he must keep the dog muzzled and on a lead whenever it was in a public place.

Spasiano was ordered to pay £100 compensation to Ms Edge, a £180 court charge, a £20 surcharge and £80 in costs.