Man admits allowing dog to be out of control in Fenland park to attack woman and terrier

Janet Circuit with her Jack Russell Terrier.

Janet Circuit with her Jack Russell Terrier. - Credit: Archant

A MAN has admitted failing to stop his dog from attacking a retired school caretaker and her dog in a Fenland park.

Janet Circuit, 69, suffered a broken wrist, had a lump of flesh bitten from her hand and received bite marks to her fingers, chest and lip when Herbert Hatton’s dog Coco, a Malamute breed, broke free of his lead in Thornham Play Park, Eastrea, at 9am on June 29.

Mrs Circuit’s dog Suzy, a Jack Russell, received severe lacerations to her chest and back in the attack and had to undergo extensive surgery, having only been given a 50/50 chance of survival.

Hatton, 61, of Wype Road, Eastrea, pleaded guilty to allowing his dog to be dangerously out of control in a public place and cause injury at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court last Thursday.

Sentencing was adjourned until September 16 after the prosecution asked for Coco to be put down and Hatton to be prevented from owning dogs for a length of time.


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Hatton was remanded on unconditional bail.

The court heard that Mrs Circuit, 69, of Thornham Way, Eastrea, was walking Suzy, a Jack Russell terrier, in the park with her husband Albert, 72, when Coco broke free from Hatton and rushed over.

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Mrs Circuit picked up Suzy to protect her but was knocked over by the other dog when it launched itself at Suzy. It had already knocked over Mr Circuit as he tried to grab its collar.

While on top of Mrs Circuit, the dog bit her numerous times and then shook Suzy while holding her between its jaws.

Jacqui Carradice, prosecuting, said: “Janet Circuit suffered bite wounds and several fractures to her right wrist.

“The extent of her injuries are still unknown because the wrist has not healed and it is possible she has lost some movement in her fingers.

“She felt like she was going to die.

“She doesn’t feel safe walking her dog and is even looking to move.

“The defendant, since the incident, continues to walk his dogs on their leads. Police have received five futher call-outs from worried parents who will not let their children play in the park.”

Joanne Hardy, defending, said: “Mr Hatton looks after foster dogs on a voluntary basis and this was the first time one of his dogs has attacked someone.”

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