A DOG lover who allowed an animal to savage a delivery man has admitted it was a stray she kept in her house with two toddlers.
Wrexham Magistrates’ Court heard how the black Staffordshire bull terrier in the care of Tamara De Gale attacked Darren Peters in December last year.
Mr Peters, a delivery man working for DPD, had called at one of De Gale’s neighbours on December 30, but after he found that no one was in, De Gale, 27, a single mum offered to take the parcel.
As he was handing the package over, the dog ran out of De Gale’s front door and locked its jaws on Mr Peters’ left thigh before then biting a lump of flesh from his left calf leaving a wound that later required 11 stitches and a tetanus injection.
Describing the incident Justin Espie, prosecuting said Mr Peters was screaming in pain as he struggled to release the dog’s jaws in front of De Gale’s two children, aged three and one, who were both crying.
Following the incident, De Gale, of Sontley Road, Wrexham, was heard to say that a dog belonging to her had done the same thing before to a delivery driver and it was later revealed in court that in 2012 a dog belonging to De Gale had been destroyed following a similar incident with another DPD staff member.
Euros Jones, defending, said that the previous incident had involved a friend’s dog who De Gale was looking after and there was no suggestion these were the same animals.
Mr Jones said: “This was a stray dog she had adopted and she would feed him when he wandered in and at first he seemed nice.
“She had seen the dog in Wrexham town centre and was never in possession of it but she admits she was in control of it at the time.”
Mr Jones added that De Gale was “a soft touch” when it came to strays and had taken in around 10 dogs over the past few years.
She was “shocked” when she first saw Mr Peters injuries and had helped him and attempted to control the dog.
A probation report prepared by Rachel Woodcock described De Gale as having “a poor attitude” after she had sucked a lollipop throughout her meeting with the probation officer and spoken on her mobile phone.
When asked why she had not contacted dog wardens about the stray animal she had replied she “had more important issues to deal with”.
The report criticised De Gale’s decision to keep the dog in the same house as her young children and added she “failed to demonstrate remorse until prompted”.
De Gale, wearing a leather jacket and combat trousers, pleaded guilty to one charge of owning a dog which was dangerously out of control resulting in injuries.
She was handed an eight week jail sentence suspended for 12 months and was ordered to pay Mr Peters £4,000 compensation for loss of earnings.
Sentencing De Gale, deputy district judge Maurice Champion said: “This is so serious when taking into account the injuries to the delivery man and the fact that the same thing has happened before.”
De Gale was also banned from keeping dogs for five years and an order was issued for the dog to be destroyed although its whereabouts are currently unknown.
Before leaving court De Gale asked if she was still allowed to walk dogs to which Mr Champion replied: “If I was you I would stay well away from dogs or you’ll be going out that door rather than the one at the back next time you are here.”