The owner of a pit bull terrier who attacked a 12-year-old, leaving her traumatised with bite marks, was barred from owning any pets for life at Athy District Court last week.
Chris Watchorn, with an address listed as Main St, Ballylinan, Athy was taken to court by the girl’s father, Seamus Delaney, of 16 Kilkenny Rd, Ballylinan, Athy, who complained that the defendant’s dog is dangerous.
The court heard that the 12-year-old girl, who has a blood clotting disorder, was walking to a friend’s house when the pit bull attacked her. “The dog bit me on the hand,” she told the court. “I was on my own. I started screaming. I started walking backwards in fear. The dog was coming really fast at me. He was biting me and wouldn’t let go of my leg.”
The court then heard that the defendant’s mother managed to get the dog off the girl.
“I was really scared,” she added. “My dad brought me to the doctor. I’m still scared of the dog. I have marks from the dog.”
Mr Delaney described how his daughter was “in hysterics crying” after the incident.
“She rang me and I went straight over,” he said.
Mr Watchorn, who was not there when the incident happened, told the court that his dog is not dangerous.
“He is not a dangerous dog,” he said. “I would not have him if he was. I want to see the hospital report. The gate wasn’t closed properly. Nothing like this has ever happened before.”
Judge Desmond Zaidan said that it “could have been a lot worse”.
“I’ll have to put this dog down,” he told Mr Watchorn. “I hate to do it – it should be you that is put down and not the dog. If you had a muzzle on him and the gate was closed. He’s a beast, you’re not. He will do it again if he gets a chance.”
Judge Zaidan added that he had “no faith” in Mr Watchorn adding that his attitude “stinks”.
He then ordered that the dog be disposed of but not destroyed.
“The dog is to be delivered to a dog warden for placement to a pit bull farm in the West of Ireland.”
The defendant was also ordered to pay costs of E340.