A dog owner has been fined after his pet broke a grandmother’s ankle by knocking her to the floor.
David Holmes was walking his German Shepherd off the lead through the Garden Village area of Gosforth when it spotted the victim’s smaller dog and bounded towards it.
A court was told that animal collided with the woman’s legs with such speed it caused her to fall to the ground.
Read more: From Darlington to Berwick: Crack addict stole from shops across region to fund habit
An ambulance had to be called as the shocked victim banged her head and snapped her ankle, prosecutors said.
She was taken to hospital and had to undergo surgery to fix the fracture.
Holmes, 68, formerly of Gosforth but now living on Silverdale Drive, in Winlaton, Gateshead, appeared in court last year to plead not guilty to one count of being the owner of a dog dangerously out on control and causing injury and the case was listed for trial.
However, on the day the trial was due to start, Holmes changed his plea, on the basis that his pet wasn’t snarling or growling.
Rachel Glover, prosecuting at North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court, said the victim was walking her dog on a lead through the Garden Village area of Gosforth on October 2 2020.
“She heard barking from across the road,” Miss Glover continued. “At this point, a large dog came running over towards her, barking at her and her dog.
“It came at speed and collided with her legs. It knocked her on to the floor and the speed of the impact made her ankle snap. The pain from the ankle was immediate and excruciating.
“Her legs went from under her and, when she fell, she hit her head. She was lying half on the path and half on the road and she was terrified.”
The court heard that Holmes stayed with the woman while an ambulance arrived and she was taken to hospital.
In a statement, she said she had to undergo surgery then wear a plaster cast and moon boot for a number of weeks.
She added: “On any other day I would have my granddaughter out walking with me and my dog. I simply can’t bear to think what would have happened if she was with me.”
The court was told Holmes, who has no past convictions, had been left significantly upset and distressed.
Sophie Allinson, defending, said the couple had been forced to sell their house and move due to the publicity the the incident received on social media.
Miss Allinson added: “Mr Holmes controls the dog within seconds. He tied the dog to a lamppost while he attended to [the victim].
“He stayed with her until the ambulance arrived, which was a considerable amount of time. He had her head in his lap.
“He made efforts to help her contact her family and the emergency services – he lent her his mobile phone. Neighbours brought a jacket to keep her warm.”
The solicitor told the court that Holmes, who has since suffered a pulmonary embolism, now walks his dog on a lead and with a muzzle.
Fining him £200 and ordering him to pay £500 compensation, Deputy District Judge Nick Hayles told Holmes: “The lady concerned was knocked over by your large dog as it attempted to get towards hers.
“I accept there was no overt biting or snarling but, clearly, a large dog attracted to a small dog is a dangerous cocktail.”
Holmes was also ordered to pay £620 costs and a £34 victim surcharge and must keep his dog on a lead at all times in public.