Dangerous dogs ‘Ronnie’ and ‘Reggie’ attacked postman and neighbour in Mansfield

Mansfield Magistrates Court
Mansfield Magistrates Court
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Staffordshire Bull Terriers named Ronnie and Reggie were dangerously out of control when they attacked two men in Warsop, a court has heard.

Charlotte Victoria Collinge, 49, of Sandy Lane, Warsop, admitted being in charge of the dogs when they injured a postman and her next door neighbour.

Andy Conboy, prosecuting, told magistrates in Mansfield how the dogs attacked postman Ryan Elliot on December 29, last year, after he delivered mail.

“He heard dogs behind him and saw two dogs running at him. One bit his postbag. He tried to pull the bag from the dog.

“The other dog jumped up and bit his left forearm, which bled instantly and needed medical attention.”

Mr Elliot’s arm was bitten where there was scarring from a previous injury and the court heard that there was the potential for it to be amputated if the bites had been more serious.

The attack was never reported to Ms Collinge, the court heard, although the Royal Mail stopped delivering post to her address.

On January 11, neighbour Ivor Higton called at the property to unblock a drain, said Mr Conboy.

“The dogs began barking and growling,” he said. “The black dog knocked him to the floor and bit his thigh. The brown dog bit his feet. He tried to fend them off and they bit his hands.”

Collinge used an axe handle to get the dogs off her neighbour.

The court heard Mr Higton received two deep cuts to his hands and right foot and numerous cuts to his left thigh.

The brown male was called Reggie and the black bitch was called Ronnie. Both dogs were seven years old and had never caused trouble before.

Mr Conboy said: “Ms Collinge said she was devastated when she was shown the injuries.”

Tom Oates, mitigating, said: “She said that the dogs were trained and that they wouldn’t normally behave like this.”

She believed they acted the way they did because they had recently had puppies. He said she had since installed a post box at the bottom of her drive and planned to erect fencing to make the rear of her house more secure.

The court heard evidence from Dr Kendal Shepherd, an expert witness, which said the dogs were not a danger to the public.

Mr Oates said: “Ms Collinge spent four years in custody and was found innocent. She is full of trepidation at the prospect of unpaid work and being around unsavoury individuals who may have some bad feelings towards her.”

Magistrates imposed a 12 month community order with 100 hours of unpaid work. She was ordered to pay Mr Elliot £100 and Mr Higton £250 in compensation, plus court costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £60.

A contingent destruction order was placed on the dogs for the rest of their lives, which means a set of conditions they must not breach otherwise they will be destroyed.

Collinge was told to keep the dogs muzzled and on a lead whenever they are out in public.