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Dog's leg amputated after attack by Staffordshire bull terrier

PUBLISHED: 13:09 21 September 2019 | UPDATED: 09:14 22 September 2019

Stock image of a staffordshire bull terrier. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Stock image of a staffordshire bull terrier. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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A dog had to have its leg amputated and its owner was bitten as he tried to free it from the clamped jaws of a Staffordshire bull terrier during a frightening attack in Norwich.

Graham Smith, 75, had been taking his dog Smiler, a white and black Staffordshire terrier cross, for a walk in the Gilders Way area of Norwich when it attacked another dog, called Phoebe.

Emma Wright, prosecuting at Norwich Magistrates Court, said Smiler "locked its jaws" onto the other dog's front leg.

Miss Wright said Phoebe's owner tried to release the dog but was bitten on the finger as he did so.

The court heard Smiler should have been wearing a muzzle on the day of the attack, April 26 this year, but was not.

It followed a previous incident in 2016 when it attacked another dog and its owner.

A victim impact statement heard how the dog belonged to the late wife of the victim whose social life had improved since taking the dog out for walks.

He had paid £2,011 for vet treatment and said it was "very sad" to see the dog in its current state.

The court heard Smith had taken his dog to get a new muzzle but it was the wrong size and would not fit.

He had taken the dog for a walk prior to a hospital appointment for a pre-existing heart condition.

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Smith, of Barrack Street, Norwich, admitted being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control causing injury.

He also admitted failing to comply with a control of dog order imposed on December 2 2016.

The court heard he took his dog to be destroyed following the incident.

Kieran Dunphy, mitigating, said his client admitted it was "completely his fault".

He said it was a series of events for which he felt "completely and totally responsible".

He said he bought the dog, which had been bred for fighting, as a puppy and had tried to retrain it but it went for other dogs.

Smith was ordered to pay the victim £2,011 to cover the cost of the vet bills as well as £250 in compensation for his injuries.

He was also fined £300, ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

In addition Smith was disqualified from keeping a dog for life.

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