A JACK Russell was left covered in blood after it was attacked by a Staffie in Penhill.

Now, the owner of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, called Bailey, has been ordered by magistrates to keep her dog muzzled and on a short lead whenever it is in a public place. But JPs were unimpressed Sarah Browne had still failed to muzzle her dog – despite the attack happening in autumn.

The court heard the 42-year-old of Burbage Road, had been inside her flat when Bailey went for her neighbour’s Jack Russell, Poppy, on September 3 last year.

The Staffie managed to leave Browne’s home and sneak out the front door of the block of flats, after it had been left open by electricians working at the flats.

Poppy was being walked by her owner, a Ms Hyde, said solicitor Rosemary Heath for Swindon Borough Council, which brought the order application. “Ms Hyde saw Bailey while still on the pavement. The dog saw her at the same time. She ran fast towards her. She did not growl or bark.”

Bailey locked her jaws around the smaller dog, knocking Ms Hyde to the ground.

The Staffie’s owner and Ms Hyde’s partner both came out to the front garden of the flats and tried to break up the tangle of dogs. Eventually, Bailey’s jaws had to be prised open. The Jack Russell was covered in blood and had “defecated in terror” during the attack, Miss Heath said.

Bite wounds in the dog’s hind legs had to be stitched up, with vet bills running to £650.

The dog was already known to the council. Bailey, now seven-years-old, was said to be responsible for four previous incidents where it had allegedly attacked other dogs, Miss Heath said.

She told magistrates: “It is as a result of the apparent lack of acknowledgement that it was Bailey that undertook this unprovoked attack, that it has happened previously, no steps have been taken [to muzzle the dog] and the seriousness of the injuries that we have brought this matter before the court.”

Browne accepted that she was the owner of a dog that was dangerous and not kept under proper control.

However, she disputed parts of the borough’s account of the incident. Ms Browne claimed the injury to Poppy may have been exacerbated by her owner’s actions: “Bailey held onto Poppy’s leg, but Ms Hyde was pulling so hard on her leg. I don’t think the injuries would have been as bad.” The dog had not shaken Poppy.

Ms Browne had been the one to prise open Bailey’s jaws and had lost fingernails as a result, she claimed. A fence had previously been installed around the family’s flat to prevent Bailey from getting out, but this had been removed after complaints from neighbours.

She said a muzzle had been ordered for Bailey and was due to be delivered on Friday.

But magistrates were unhappy the dog had not already been muzzled. Chairman of the bench Jane Flew said: “It is, we feel, not a good sign that you have not bought a muzzle and you are not muzzling the dog now some four or five months after this incident. We feel that is poor to say the least.”

They awarded the council £947.29 in costs.