Published: 10:23, 16 May 2018
The fate of a pet dog called Dre – which bit a four-year-old girl – hangs in the balance this morning.
A judge is to decide whether or not to make a “destruction order” after the animal has spent the past year in kennels.
Its owner Steven Thomson finally pleaded guilty to having a dog dangerously out of control at his home in Cliftonville in March last year.
It followed hours of discussions between lawyers and the judge about the legal definition of being “dangerously” out of control.
Thomson, of Godwin Road, eventually admitted the offence after receiving assurances from the judge that he would not receive an immediate jail sentence.
The victim received bite marks and was taken to hospital after the incident and doctors believe they would leave scars.
The child and her family had visited Thomson’s home when the dog ran towards the child and attacked her.
Since the incident the American pitbull-mastiff cross-breed – named after American rapper Dr Dre – has been kept in kennels at a cost of £7000 while Thomson was awaiting a trial.
But now the 58-year-old has admitted guilt, Judge Simon James will have to decide on Dre’s fate after hearing from kennel staff about the animal temperament and recent behaviour.
Under the Dangerous Dog’s Act the judge can order its destruction and disqualify Thomson from owning another animal.
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