Judge spares Saxo the rottweiler after attack on schoolgirl in Westgate-on-Sea
Saxo the rottweiler bit
schoolgirl Megan Lyndsey (file picture)
by Paul Hooper
A pet rottweiler has been saved from the death penalty after biting
a 12-year-old girl.
Four-year-old Saxo had faced being destroyed after it escaped
and bit Megan Lyndsey, from Westgate-on-Sea.
Fortunately, the frightened schoolgirl was wearing
"thick winter clothes" that prevented the animal's teeth from
breaking the skin on her arm.
But after 69-year-old owner Richard Silver agreed to Saxo being
kept under a lock and key, a judge decided not to issue a death
Silver, of Canterbury Road, Westgate will also have to pay Megan
£400 compensation before the end of the year.
And he has to find another £510 in fines and costs after
admitting owning a dog that was dangerously out of
Saxo attacked children
near Ursuline College in Westgate
Denzil Pugh, prosecuting, told Canterbury Crown
Court a group of schoolchildren were standing near Ursuline
College, in Canterbury Road, in December last year.
He said: "As they were waiting, along bounded Silver's
rottweiler called Saxo, causing a young boy to run away. The dog
went past him and jumped at another girl who managed to push it
"It then transferred its attention to Megan. Fortunately she was
wearing thick clothing but was nonetheless bitten by the animal
which held onto her for about five seconds."
Mr Pugh said the schoolgirl received bruising to her arm, but no
puncture marks from its teeth.
Silver, an industrial cleaner who suffers from asbestosis, was
alerted and called off the dog – later telling police he was
"99.9% certain" he had locked the dog inside the yard, which has
Dog owner Richard
Silver appeared at Canterbury Crown Court
Oliver Saxby, defending, said Silver accepted he should
have fitted a lock to the compound near his bungalow and now
has that security measure.
He said: "The dog is used to deter burglars in an area beset
"There is a background to people – mainly children - making
a detour to go and see the dog. On this occasion someone opened the
"There is no suggestion that Megan or others involved in this
incident were baiting the dog. Saxo is well-behaved and is
much-loved by Mr Silver, who is a conscientious dog owner. Saxo is
chipped and is insured.
"He is desperate for the court not to make an order to have Saxo
After being shown a photograph of the new lock, Judge Adele
Williams said she was not going to make a destruction order.
She added: "It still must have been very frightening indeed to
this child and very traumatic.
"The dog needs to be kept under control and you have taken the
necessary steps to ensure that."
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