Chesterfield pet owner wins stay of execution for dog after vicious attack

Pictured is Paul Taylor, of Station Road, Whittington Moor, Chesterfield.
Pictured is Paul Taylor, of Station Road, Whittington Moor, Chesterfield.

A distraught pet owner has won a stay of execution for his dog after his much loved Staffordshire Bull Terrier attacked a neighbour.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard how Paul Taylor, 54, of Station Road, Whittington Moor, Chesterfield, had been trying to break up a dispute between two women when his dog Taz shot out of his flat and attacked one of them.

But during a subsequent court hearing today, Thursday, December 3, Taylor successfully applied through his solicitor for a behavioural analysis of Taz before the court makes a decision on whether the dog should be destroyed.

Taylor said: “It’s the first moment of aggression I have ever seen from him. I put him on a lead afterwards and went out and had a cry to myself because I dreaded to think what would now happen to him.

“He’s never aggressive to other dogs and my daughter wouldn’t have let her children near him if she thought he was aggressive.

“I have been poorly without Taz. I am moving flats and really hope to get him back.”

Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop told the court how neighbour Sherrie Saunders had been arguing with another female resident in a public area outside Taylor’s flat and having heard the commotion he opened his door to separate the women.

All three ended up in a pile and the dog ran out and clamped its jaw down on Sherrie Saunders’ right leg, according to Mrs Allsop, and the complainant suffered two large lacerations through skin and tissue and her calf muscle was shredded.

Taylor told police Taz had previously been owned by a drug addict or dealer and it was possible the dog had been mistreated.

Police have temporarily placed Taz in kennels and the CPS has applied for the dog to be destroyed.

Taylor, who has previous convictions, pleaded guilty to being the owner of a dangerously out of control dog that caused an injury after the incident in August.

Defence solicitor Julie Page said Taylor got involved as a peacemaker and he has been without his dog for five months and is desperate to get Taz back.

Magistrates sentenced Taylor to a nine-month community order with an activity requirement and a three-week curfew. He was also ordered to pay £500 compensation, £85 costs and a £180 courts charge.

However, Miss Page successfully applied for a behavioural analysis of Taz so magistrates further adjourned the case until January 21 for an interim hearing to consider findings before making a decision on the dog’s future.