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Charges dropped for dog owner whose pet was alleged to have bitten a woman

A Staffordshire bull terrier said to have bitten and badly injured a woman is being reunited with its relieved owner after charges were dropped.

Cassius was being held in kennels and could have been put down had a jury convicted Elizabeth Hamilton of an offence under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

The dog was allegedly dangerously out of control in Nordic Crescent, Blantyre, on August 20 last year.

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The animal allegedly bit another dog before sinking its teeth into a woman, causing her severe injury and permanent impairment.

Hamilton, 46, of Victoria Street, Blantyre, stood trial at Hamilton Sheriff Court.

Her former co-accused, Ryan Rattigan, 38, who was walking Cassius at the time of the incident, died earlier this year.

Crown witness Elizabeth Gallagher, 60, said she looked out of her window after hearing a commotion.

She told the court: “Two dogs – a big Alsatian and a Staffie – were fighting.

“They were on leads, but they were snarling and biting each other. One was as bad as the other.”

The court heard the female victim was shouting for help.

The witness continued: “I went out to the road. I was concerned for her because blood was everywhere.

“Ryan Rattigan was shouting for her to get her dog under control.

“I took the lady into my house. There was blood coming from her hand. She was hysterical.

“My grandson took the Alsatian away up the street. Ryan walked away, still shouting that she had to get the dog under control.”

CCTV footage of the incident was shown to the jury.

Questioned by defence agent Ali Murray, the Alsatian’s owner admitted she had put her hand in the Staffie’s mouth in a bid to separate the dogs.

After consideration of the evidence that had been led, the fiscal informed Sheriff Andrew McIntyre that she was no longer pursuing the prosecution.

Hamilton was told she was free to leave the dock.

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