News

‘Banned’ pit bull to be destroyed and owner jailed after dog bites beautician

A pit bull will be destroyed as the animal’s owner was jailed after the dog attacked a woman outside her home.

Missy, a “banned breed”, bit a beautician in Gorton, Manchester, and left her bleeding in the communal garden.

Gary Boswell has been jailed for 10 months after he admitted being the owner of a dog which was accused of being dangerously out of control.

He has also been banned from keeping a dog for a decade, the Manchester Evening News reports.

Manchester Crown Court was told he used Missy as “protection” from drug dealers who were “cuckooing” his flat.

Missy was a “banned breed” and had been seized by police in 2017, but Boswell had been allowed to keep her after gaining an “exemption certificate”, which included rules on how she should be kept.

Police seized the dog again the following year, after reports that Missy had “gone for” a woman and her elderly mother, knocking the older woman to the floor.

No punishment was dealt and Missy returned to Boswell, prosecutor Robert Smith said.

The victim, a neighbour of Boswell’s in a block of flats in Gorton, complained about Missy to the housing authority especially concerned about her being allowed to run free in their communal garden.

“She was concerned for her safety and that of her own dog,” Mr Smith said.

She and Boswell had come to an understanding, that she would shout over to Boswell when she was in the garden with her dog to ensure Missy was taken inside.

Fencing was also installed.

In August 2020, the victim, a beautician in her 20s, had come home from work and shouted to Boswell to let her know she was in the garden.

But shortly after she saw Missy appear in the garden and went to move her dog out of the way.

Missy headed “straight towards her” and bit her hand through the fencing.

Boswell came out and pulled Missy away.

The victim went to hospital and needed surgery, requiring stitching to her hand and Mr Smith said that the woman suffered numbness as well as panic attacks and flashbacks.

He added she has been forced to stop working as a beautician due to her injury.

Defending, Natalie Goffe, said Missy had been let out by a friend of Boswell’s, adding Missy provided “protection” for Boswell.

She said he has had “long-standing” drug issues but has been clean since last year.

Ms Goffe had appealed for Boswell to be spared jail, noting the probation service believed he posed a “low risk” of committing further offences.

But Judge Suzanne Goddard KC told him: “You were fully aware of the dangerous potential nature of this dog.

“It’s clear to me you should have exercised more control over your dog.

“If you choose to have a dog like that, and you have a warning about the behaviour of that dog and that dog then injuries somebody, it becomes a very serious matter.”

The judge also ordered that the dog should be destroyed.

She said: “It seems to me that the necessary test is made out. There will be an order for the destruction of the dog Missy.”

Boswell, from Stretford, was also banned from having a dog for 10 years, after the judge said he was “not a fit and proper person to have custody of a dog”.