Manchester Evening News

‘Fighting’ dog bit Uber Eats driver in face



A BANNED ‘fighting’ dog left an Uber Eats driver in hospital after biting his face as he delivered its owner a McDonald’s meal.

Gemma Louise Ward’s dog, Kyra, sank its teeth into his chin, leaving blood running off his face.

The 39-year-old found herself in court following the shocking incident last May. She admitted having a ‘fighting’ dog; and being in charge of a dog dangerousl­y out of control – causing injury.

Her sentencing was delayed by magistrate­s while she battles to stop the ‘pit bull terrier-type’ dog being put down. Tameside Magistrate­s Court was told Ward ordered a McDonald’s through Uber Eats on May 3.

The delivery driver arrived at her home on Seventh Avenue, Limeside. He knocked on the front door to hand the food over at around 7.30pm.

Gareth Hughes, prosecutin­g, said as the delivery driver waited he could see a barking dog through the front window. After the door was answered by Ward, the man realised the animal ‘wasn’t contained in the living room’ and was ‘trying to get past.’

The driver said the dog was ‘barking quite loudly’ and ‘appeared agitated,’ the court heard. Ward was ‘trying hard to keep it behind her’ but was ‘struggling,’ Mr Hughes added.

The dog then squeezed past and headed ‘directly towards’ the driver, who wasn’t sure if it was after the food or wanted to attack him. The man dropped the delivery bag before the animal pinned him against a fence.

He said he was ‘frozen in fear’ as the dog jumped up and bit his chin, leaving blood dripping onto the ground. The pet tried to bite the man again on the same spot, but was unable to as he had his hand over the wound. Ward, the court heard, ‘seemed reluctant to get involved.’ “I was screaming in pain and was worried I was going to be bitten again,” the driver said in a statement. “It lasted a matter of minutes, but felt like a long time.” The dog was eventually restrained.

Police were called and the driver was treated. Mr Hughes said Ward ‘appeared upset,’ but didn’t offer to help. The driver, who was taken to hospital, added: “It left me shocked and concerned.”

Ward pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to possessing or having custody of a fighting dog; and to being the owner or person in charge of a dog dangerousl­y out of control, causing injury.

Mr Hughes said the ‘pit bull terriertyp­e’ dog was a banned breed and the law says that as it caused injury, should be destroyed unless it is deemed to be no risk to the public.

Ward, the court heard, instructed an expert, who concluded the pet wasn’t a danger and could be put on the register of exempt dogs managed by the Department for Food and Rural Affairs.

An option, the court heard, was for a ‘contingenc­y’ destructio­n order which would stipulate the dog has to be on a short lead and muzzled in public. Mr Hughes said the court needed to decide if Ward was a ‘fit and proper’ person to be allowed to keep a dog – or if she should be disqualifi­ed from keeping animals.

Magistrate­s adjourned the case to allow police to respond to the expert report and to make enquiries around Ward’s history of dog ownership. Anthony Horsfall, representi­ng Ward, said officers had already had ‘ample’ time to respond.

The animal has been in kennels since the incident.

Ward was released on bail ahead of a sentencing hearing on April 22.

 ?? ?? Gemma Louise Ward outside court
Gemma Louise Ward outside court

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