A PITBULL owner has admitted that his dog attacked another canine and caused bruising to a woman during an ‘unprovoked attack’.

Lindsey Cato was in the communal entrance to the block of flats where she lived in Winklebury Centre when a pitbull attacked her dog – causing a puncture wound – and bruising and scratching her. 

Owner of the dog Graham Marshall, also of Winklebury Centre, did not have his pet, called Caesar, on a lead at the time of the incident.

During a hearing at Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, April 9, the 47-year-old pleaded guilty to being in possession of/having custody of a fighting dog and being the owner/person in charge of dog dangerously out of control causing injury.

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In 1991, the UK government decided to ban the pitbull terrier after a number of reports of unprovoked attacks by the breed on humans.

Prosecutor Kerry Richardson told the court said that Ms Cato was coming into the communal entrance to the flats where she lived, with her dog on a lead, when she was attacked on October 12, last year. 

She continued: "As she was walking down the stairs she came across Graham and his dog who was not on a lead."

Ms Richardson said that Marshall’s dog bit Ms Cato’s dog and she tried to protect her pet. Despite Ms Cato’s actions her dog suffered a puncture wound and she sustained bruising and scratching to her hand.

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In a statement read out to the court, Ms Cato said: “Graham doesn’t put the dog on the lead down the stairs as he pulls him down them.”

It continued: "It was a completely unprovoked attack on my dog and I do not believe Graham had proper control of Caesar on the stairs."

In mitigation, duty solicitor Alexandra Chessum said that Marshall accepted Caesar was out of control and bit another dog, but he did not know it was a prohibited breed.

District Judge Timothy Pattinson adjourned sentencing for a Newton hearing to take place. Such a hearing is carried out when a defendant, who has pleaded guilty, disputes the facts of the case and the prosecution wishes to provide its version.  

During the hearing, it will be discussed whether Marshall had no knowledge of any warning signs about the dog's behaviour, knowledge of any previous aggression and the dangerousness of the incident. 

He will next appear at Aldershot Magistrates’ Court on Friday, July 12, for the Newton hearing.