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Woman convicted after dog bites 12 children

Claire Neal

[A] women has been convicted after a dangerously out of control dog bit twelve children in a Blyth park.

The incident happened at about 6.30pm on Wednesday, May 18 2016, at a park next to Burns Avenue.

The dog, a Staffordshire terrier, got into the park and bit the children playing there. Twelve youngsters were taken to hospital for treatment for puncture wounds, including three children who were kept in hospital overnight for treatment.

Following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court, Claire Neal aged 38, of Chasedale Crescent, Cowpen, Blyth was today sentenced to 4 years imprisonment for being in charge of a dangerous dog causing injury.

The dog was seized by police after the attack and was initially kept in secured kennels. Following an investigation it was subsequently destroyed.

PC Craig Arkley from Northumbria Police said: “This was an extremely frightening incident for the children who were injured when the dog ran amok in a Blyth park last year.

“This has been very upsetting for the large number of families involved in this incident and the wider Blyth community who were also concerned about what had happened. Perhaps most upsetting of all is the knowledge that this could have been avoided if the dog had been properly restrained and not allowed to get into the park area where children were playing.

“Parents quite rightly expect their children to be safe from harm when playing together in a park and do not expect to see them hurt and frightened by an out of control dog.

“The court has recognised the serious harm done to the children and families and we are pleased by the sentences handed down.

“I hope it will remind all dog owners to make sure their pets are appropriately looked after and not put in a position where they can harm others.”

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