A DOG that bit a woman in a pub beer garden has been spared destruction – but as long as it is muzzled and kept on a lead in public.

Bruce Soulsbury was on holiday in Powys last summer when his brown labrador Lily bit Susan Corke in the beer garden of the Hundred House Inn, in Bleddfa, near Knighton, on the Herefordshire border.

At Llandrindod Wells Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, March 1, 52-year-old Soulsbury admitted one charge of being the owner of a dog that was dangerously out of control and caused injury.


Prosecutor Stephen Davies said the victim, 70-year-old Mrs Corke, had to visit hospital on several occasions following the bite, which happened when she was walking from the garden to the pub at about 2pm on August 27.

“The dog, a brown Labrador-type dog, had a retractable lead but no-one was holding the handle," Mr Davies said. "She suffered puncture wounds on the back of her calf, one appeared to be quite deep.

“She received first aid at the pub. The defendant arrived and apologised. He offered his details, but she was shocked and upset so didn’t want to speak to him.

“She later went to the minor injuries unit at Llandrindod Wells Hospital. She was given antibiotics and the wound was stapled and she was sent home. She has since been back to have it cleaned and redressed, and was given another course of antibiotics."

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In a victim impact statement provided by Mrs Corke and read out by Mr Davies, she asked for the dog to be put down, saying: “I still think about the incident. I have suffered emotionally and it has affected my social life, including gardening and walking.

“I am scared of dogs now and have some awareness of them. I avoid them now and think of their teeth. It has taken away some of my independence."

Mr Davies added: “The defendant said he thought he was in control of the dog but he obviously wasn’t as it managed to bite someone.

“The dog, Lily, wasn’t muzzled. He has sought ongoing training for her and purchased a muzzle to be worn in public.”


Acting for the defendant, from Birstall, Leicestershire, Gareth Walters said his client is remorseful and “wishes the incident never happened”.

"Lily is a Romanian rescue, she is two-and-a-half now," he said. "Lily was on the lead sat at his feet when Mrs Corke walked past.

“For unknown reasons she went after her and bit her. It was unfortunate but couldn’t have been foreseen. The defendant quickly took control of the situation and he assisted with administering first aid. He took all reasonable steps to assist.

“Lily is now muzzled when on walks, she is always on a lead. He doesn’t let her off the lead anymore. She has had 3 training sessions with an aggressive dog behavioural specialist. He has adopted rescues in the past and there have never been any issues."

Magistrates told Soulsbury that Lily must be muzzled at all times in public and kept on a lead. If she isn’t the destruction order will come into effect, they warned him.

He was fined £740 with a £296 surcharge and £85 costs.