Attacker threw pit bull at girlfriend's estranged husband
A PIT bull terrier was commended by a judge – for behaving better than its "vicious" owner.
Marcus Dawes unleashed a brutal assault on his girlfriend's husband, during which he threw his dog at him, Bristol Crown Court was told.
The pit bull refused to get involved, but Dawes held his bloodied victim prisoner before forcing him to hand over £300 at an ATM.
Dawes, 28, of Balmain Street, Totterdown, pleaded guilty to false imprisonment and fraud following the incident in November 2011.
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Jailing him for three years, nine months, Judge Michael Longman told him: "This was a vicious incident during which the defendant subjected the victim to repeated violence and humiliation in a protracted ordeal lasting two and a half hours or so.
"He threw a pit bull terrier at him, which appears to be better behaved than the defendant himself."
Dawes had been mistakenly arrested and placed in custody after a court administration error, and the judge bailed him within the precincts of the court before his sentence.
After being released he simply walked out of the building and was sentenced in his absence.
He will be dealt with for contempt of court later.
Richard Posner, prosecuting, said train driver Lloyd Bishop and his wife Louise separated after 18 years of marriage and Dawes moved in to the marital home.
When Mr Bishop visited his children, Dawes returned to the property and unleashed an unprovoked attack, the court heard.
Mr Posner said: "The defendant punched him, grabbed his collar and pulled him into the house.
"Mr Bishop's 14-year-old daughter was there.
"The defendant punched him in the face, knocking his glasses off, and punched him to the floor.
"The defendant said he wanted to kill someone and said his mum had been diagnosed with cancer.
"He punched Mr Bishop twice in the face, sat across him and spat in his face."
Dawes took his shirt off and challenged his victim to kick box him, the court heard, before kicking him.
Mr Posner said: "The defendant picked up his pit bull terrier and threw it at Mr Bishop. The dog walked away."
The court heard Dawes frisked his victim, taking keys, and held a blade to Mr Bishop's throat as well as his own wrist.
Dawes then tied Mr Bishop's hands behind his back with a curtain tie and locked him in the bathroom.
Shortly after, Dawes drove Mr and Mrs Bishop and their daughter to a bank, where Mrs Bishop told him her husband's PIN number and Dawes withdrew £300, Mr Posner said.
Back at the marital home, Dawes threatened to take Mr Bishop to Dundry Lane where he would "do him over and bury him".
When Mrs Bishop said concerns would be raised about her husband, Dawes let him go but warned him to keep quiet.
Mr Posner said the assault was reported to police and Dawes initially denied offences, saying he was being set up.
Brendon Moorhouse, defending, said difficulties had arisen regarding Mr Bishop's financial support to four youngsters at the home.
He said his client had reacted very poorly to news that his mother had been diagnosed with throat cancer, which appeared to trigger the incident.
Mr Moorhouse said: "There is a domestic element to it.
"What he wanted to do was to try and get money he saw as maintenance for the children."
Mr Moorhouse conceded his client had an "unenviable" criminal record but said he had suffered from mental health difficulties.