A CHILD was injured by a dangerously out of control dog in Hereford, a court has heard.

Toni Oldham, 35, of Vernon Williams Close, Hereford, admitted being the owner of the dog when she appeared before magistrates in Hereford on July 29.

Prosecutor Shafquat Reaz said the child had visited Oldham’s property on February 2 2018 to retrieve a football from her garden, entering through a gate which had a broken lock.

The child knocked on Oldham’s door, but when it was opened, two dogs ran out.

Boston, a one-year-old English bulldog type, pushed the child over before biting them on the right arm and hand, causing wounds which needed stitches.

Both dogs were seized by police, with one later released, while Boston remains in police kennels two years on.

Marilena Di Vitantonio, for Oldham, said she had been at work at the time of the offence, and pleaded guilty because she had no option.

“A family member was babysitting and looking after the dogs, so she is unable to say much about what happened, but she did not just leave the dog to do what it wants," Miss Di Vitantonio said.

“A destruction order is being sought because of what happened two years ago. We do not know what Boston is like now, and there is no suggestion that he has injured anyone else.

“This was a momentary incident with wounds of about one and two centimetres.”

The court heard there was some disagreement as to who had let the dogs out.

The court heard Oldham had put measures in place for Boston to return home, including a six foot fence and a secure gate.

“She was asked to forfeit Boston and she said no,” Miss Di Vitantonio said.

“He is still a loved part of the family, and she is asking the court to give him a chance.”

Magistrates heard an expert behaviour assessment had not been carried out on Oldham’s behalf due to prohibitive costs.

Mr Reaz said a contingency destruction order would be difficult to enforce in the family home.

Chair of the bench Celia Cundale said there was no evidence of Boston’s current behaviour.

“It cannot be guaranteed that it will not be a danger to the public, and it may pose a risk to the household,” she said.

Magistrates ordered the destruction of the dog and awarded £200 compensation to the victim.

They rejected a £12,000 claim for police kennelling costs, reducing the amount Oldham must pay to £500.

She must also pay costs of £185 and a £30 victim surcharge.