Hitchin man banned from keeping dogs after attack on common

PUBLISHED: 15:55 01 March 2018 | UPDATED: 16:12 01 March 2018

Stevenage Magistrates' Court, where Nicholas Swanscott's case was heard. Picture: Harry Hubbard

Stevenage Magistrates' Court, where Nicholas Swanscott's case was heard. Picture: Harry Hubbard


A man who was in charge of a bulldog that attacked another pet and its owner while out of control in Hitchin has been banned from keeping dogs.

A woman required hospital treatment for deep wounds to her wrist and right thigh after the incident at Oughtonhead Common, which involved an American bulldog named Marley. Her dog required surgery for severe neck injuries.

Nicholas Swanscott, of Moss Way, appeared before Stevenage magistrates on Friday to stand trial for being in charge of a dangerously out-of-control dog that had caused injuries.

The 54-year-old had previously pleaded not guilty, but now changed his plea to guilty – for which the magistrates gave him credit.

Passing sentence, chairman of the bench Catherine McIntosh imposed a community order barring Swanscott from Oughtonhead Common for 12 months.

She also banned him from keeping a dog for two years and imposed a contingent destruction order stating that unless Marley is securely muzzled, kept on a lead in public and excluded from Oughtonhead Common, he must be put down.

In both cases Mrs McIntosh cited the injuries Marley had caused during the attack on May 15 last year.

The court also ordered Swanscott to pay £912.95 in compensation, £100 costs and £85 surcharge – a total bill of £1,097.95.

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