Safety fears for OAP in Doncaster dog attack

Needed hospital treatment: Joe Thompson, 87, was  attacked by an Alsatian.
Needed hospital treatment: Joe Thompson, 87, was attacked by an Alsatian.
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A DOG is on a final warning and the owner has been ordered to make her Doncaster home secure for the safety of other people after her pet attacked an 87-year-old man.

Pensioner Joe Thompson is also set to receive £200 compensation for his suffering, but his family are more concerned about his future safety after a Doncaster judge decided not to order the immediate destruction of the Alsatian owned by Joanne Pait.

St Leger Homes, which owns Pait’s council house, has opted not to evict her but will help her comply with District Judge Jonathan Bennett’s order to erect a high fence all the way around her house in Welfare Road, Woodlands.

Mr Thompson’s son and daughter say he is still in fear of being attacked by the dog again, and spent much of the summer indoors because he was worried the pet might bound over the dividing fence and go for him again.

Mr Thompson is one of 29 people injured in dog attacks in Doncaster in 2012. The figure is on course to be higher than last year’s of 32.

His daughter Gillian Brown, who lives nearby and witnessed the attack in June, said: “We weren’t after compensation, all we want is my dad’s safety.

“I just want my dad to be safe and to be able to go outside without being in fear. We want the dog gone.”

Pait, aged 44, appeared before magistrates earlier this week and admitted a charge of being the owner of a dog which was dangerously out of control in a public place.

Judge Bennett placed Pait on a one-month curfew order, ordered her to pay £85 costs and £200 to Mr Thompson, and made a contingency destruction order on the dog to keep it under proper control and muzzled.

He also ordered her to erect high fencing all the way round her house and fit a secure gate so the Alsatian cannot get out. If the orders are breached the case will come back to court for the animal to be destroyed.

Mrs Brown added: “It’s the front of the house we’re concerned about. I can’t see her putting high fencing all the way round because it’s not her property and I believe council tenants are not allowed to have high fencing.

“Even if she fits a secure gate other people can leave it open.”

The court was told Mr Thompson was returning to his home one Saturday morning when he was pounced on by the dog and knocked to the pavement.

When Mrs Brown screamed the owner appeared and called the animal off but Mr Thompson was rendered unconscious and needed hospital treatment for a head injury.

Her brother, Dave Thompson, said: “Dad has been made a prisoner in his own home by this attack. After the incident he was too afraid to tend to his tomatoes in his greenhouse for fear of the dog escaping again.”

Judith Jones, deputy chief executive of St Leger Homes of Doncaster, said: “Now that the court hearing has been concluded, we have been in contact with Miss Pait and have arranged for a surveyor to visit to provide her with the information and advice she requires in order to comply with the court order and we will then ensure that the work is carried out.

“We will be looking at the court order and planning regulations and taking legal advice on the work that needs carrying out with regards to the fencing around the front and back of the property.”