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Home   Dartford   News   Article

Dog to be destroyed after owner Tara Wai Ling Pang's Staffordshire bull terrier Mel Mel attacks Samantha Ripley and pets at Dartford home

05 June 2014
by Alex Matthews

A dog is to be destroyed after a grandmother and her two Jack Russells were attacked, killing one of the animals.

Magistrates ordered that Tara Wai Ling Pang’s Staffordshire bull terrier Mel Mel be put down after it assaulted Samantha Ripley and her pets.

Pang was found guilty of allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control in a public place and causing injury.

Samantha Ripley with surviving dog Sophie

Samantha Ripley with surviving dog Sophie

The horrific incident left Ms Ripley hurt and covered in blood, her Jack Russell Shelby fatally wounded and another injured, near Joyce Green Lane in Dartford.

Ms Ripley said: “My memories will never heal. She was my baby.”

As Samantha Ripley’s emotional witness statement was read out at Dartford Magistrates’ Court, defendant Tara Wai Ling Pang, 39, of Tyler Grove, Dartford, wept.

The court heard Ms Ripley was walking her two Jack Russells near Joyce Green Lane in Dartford on April 18 last year when three Staffordshire bull terriers belonging to Pang attacked.

They had escaped from her back garden.

One of the Jack Russells, Shelby, died while the other, Sophie, was injured.

Ms Ripley suffered a wound to her wrist and her trainers and her clothes were blood-stained.

During a court hearing, prosecutor Lorraine Webb read out Ms Ripley’s statement.

She said: “The guilt and blame I have with me every day, knowing that I took her [Shelby] to her death.

Samantha Ripley with pictures of Shelby who was killed

Samantha Ripley with pictures of Shelby who was killed

“My memories will never heal. She was my baby.”

Pang only found out something had happened when she was told by her son the animals were in the front garden rather than the back. She then noticed one of her dogs had blood on its face.

Pang denied allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control in a public place and causing injury – an offence under the Dangerous Dogs Act – but was found guilty.

She was ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work, pay £500 in compensation, £450 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

Her dog Mel Mel, who was identified to be the main aggressor, was ordered to be destroyed. Pang has 21 days to appeal.

Her two other dogs, Rosie and Lily, must be muzzled and kept on a lead at all times in a public place. If they are involved in an attack in the future they could also be destroyed.

“My memories will never heal. She was my baby” - Samantha Ripley

In a police interview, Pang said the night before the attack youths had been banging on her fence and gate and throwing cans into the garden. She had put a “massive” boulder in front of the gate to make the garden secure.

When she woke the next day, Pang let the dogs out of the house into the back garden and left them while she went for a bath. It was then the dogs escaped.

The court heard Pang said: “I didn’t go around and check the gate, that’s my mistake.”

Pang said years earlier she had put the dogs through a training course called Bark Busters as two of them, Rosie and Mel Mel, had been rescue dogs.

Roger Haw, defending, said: “She’s a very responsible dog owner which was acknowledged by the interviewing officer.

“She’s a bit of an example to people who do have dogs. This tragic situation is through no fault of her own.”

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