Gardener jailed after dog attack in which woman thought her arm had been 'ripped off'
A LANDSCAPE gardener who grew cannabis and whose out of control dog bit a teaching assistant has been jailed for 18 months.
Ian Dixon, 49, began cultivating bonsai trees but then switched to an illicit crop for personal use, Bristol Crown Court heard.
The court was also told that when a youngster walked his Staffordshire bull terrier Buster, it bit a smaller dog and its owner Sarah Harris.
Dixon, of Mancroft Avenue in Lawrence Weston, admitted producing and possessing cannabis, abstracting electricity and owning a dog which was dangerously out of control.
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Judge Simon Darwall-Smith, who considered an expert's report on Dixon's dog, made the animal the subject of a contingent destruction order where it must be castrated, collared and identity-tagged, put on a lead no longer than two metres and be muzzled at all times in public.
The judge said the dog should only be walked by persons aged 18 or over and should attend dog training at an approved local facility.
The judge told Dixon: "Your brother can carry out those requirements. He must do it in two months or the dog will be destroyed."
Dixon's criminal benefit from the cannabis was deemed at £8,120 and his available £310 was confiscated.
Nadeem Aullybocus, prosecuting, said police searched Dixon's rented home and found a cannabis set-up nurturing 12 plants, with an estimated worth of some £6,000 to £9,000.
Mr Aullybocus said there were also 21 £10 notes in an envelope, a mobile phone and 1.06 grammes of herbal cannabis found on Dixon.
The court heard Dixon allowed a youngster to walk his two dogs, including two-and-a-half year old Buster, in October last year.
He described how Sarah Harris was walking her small Jack Russell dog Joel, aged three, over Avonmouth Rugby Club fields in Shirehampton when she met up with friends who were walking their Jack Russell dogs, Bob and Arthur.
He told the court: "One of the women noticed a large dog running in their direction, at the other dogs.
"Bob and Arthur stayed quiet but Joel was barking.
"Buster, the defendant's dog, was described as a massive dog with massive teeth and going really fast."
Mr Aullybocus said Buster bit Joel and, when Mrs Harris hoisted him upwards, the attacking dog leapt up and clamped on to her arm.
He said: "The dog was biting into her elbow. She was swinging around but there was such a strong bite the dog didn't go. She was in so much pain she thought her arm had been ripped off. She thought if she fell the dog would eat her face."
In the course of the attack Buster bit the smaller dog to his legs, side and rear end, the court heard.
The youngster with him managed to hold on to his lead as an air ambulance scrambled to the scene.
Mrs Harris was treated and stitched at Southmead Hospital. She had suffered teeth marks around her right elbow and top of her arm, bruising to her left wrist, a puncture wound to her left hand and puncture marks and bruising to her abdomen.
Farah Rashid, defending, said there was no evidence Dixon produced cannabis on a commercial basis. She said her client conceded the youngster was on her own with the two dogs and Buster should have been on a lead.
Ms Rashid said: "He says he will abide by whatever the court says.
"He doesn't want to see his dog put down but he has shown extreme remorse for the injuries to the victim and her dog."