A dog will have to be put down after viciously attacking two traffic wardens who were giving its owner a ticket.

A judge made the order after hearing the Jack Russell terrier ran out of its Coventry home and sank its teeth into the legs of the two women on patrol.

The pet had already attacked a 14-year-old girl.

Judge Philip Gregory ordered the ‘‘remarkably vicious’’ small dog be put down after hearing both victims suffered serious injuries.

Both have been left traumatised by the incident and one still suffers nightmares.

The dog’s owner Karen Morgan had pleaded guilty during an earlier hearing at the crown court in Leamington to two charges of allowing her dog to be out of control and to cause injury.

At Coventry Crown Court, following an adjournment for a report to be prepared on her, Morgan, aged 51, of Cedars Avenue, Coundon, Coventry, was fined £500.

Prosecutor Ben Gow said that on April 27 two ‘‘civil enforcement officers’’ saw Morgan’s car parked on double yellow lines.

As they were issuing a ticket, Morgan came out of her home to speak to them – followed by her dog.

The Jack Russell went for both women and attacked them in the street.

David Murray, defending, said Morgan, who had no previous convictions, ‘‘fully understands the effect such an unexpected act would have on the victim’’.

Reading a pre-sentence report on Morgan, Judge Gregory observed that she is a nurse who is currently working in a rehab centre for the elderly.

He said: “She was seeking to move home because her property had been burgled and she felt vulnerable living there.

“The incident happened because she parked on double yellow lines to have her car close to her home to load it.

“When she saw she was getting booked, she ran out to try to persuade the people who were doing their job not to – and she left the door open and the dog ran out and attacked the two civil enforcement officers.”

Mr Murray said Morgan had had the dog, a Jack Russell cross which she had had for four years, muzzled and chipped, and it is not allowed out in public places without a lead.

Judge Gregory commented that that was as a result of an earlier incident when it had bitten a 14-year-old girl who was bending down to pat it.

Mr Murray argued that a ‘contingent destruction order’ – one where the dog would be destroyed unless certain requirements were complied with - would be ‘more appropriate’.

But Judge Gregory responded: “It’s a dog which attacks people, and does it viciously. It is surprising such a small dog can cause such damage, but it is not just physical damage but psychological damage as well.”

Fining Morgan, the judge told her: “Normally I have to deal with criminals in the crown court. You are not a criminal; you are a respectable, hard-working, decent lady who is doing your best to bring up your daughter.

“Why you are here is not because of any criminal act, but because of a negligent act because you did not think to close the door behind you when you ran out because you didn’t wish to receive a ticket – and it had ghastly consequences.

“But it also had ghastly consequences for the two ladies who were only doing their job and would not have given you a ticket if they had known what was going on.

“This is a dog with a history; a remarkably vicious dog, given what it did to these two ladies, and I am afraid it has got to go. I cannot avoid making a destruction order.

“I suspect one of the worst consequences of this for you is that the dog has to be destroyed. But I am not going to ban you from keeping a dog, so you will be able to replace it.”


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