Parish council chief ordered to put his dog down after it attacked two people

Councillor John Littlefair, chairman of Hart Parish Council.
Councillor John Littlefair, chairman of Hart Parish Council.

A well-known parish councillor has been ordered to put down his dog after it attacked two people.

John Littlefair, chairman of Hart Parish Council, pleaded guilty to two counts of owning a dog which was dangerously out of control and caused injury.

Chloe Taylor's injury after the attack.

Chloe Taylor's injury after the attack.

The 61-year-old farmer admitted the charges when he appeared at Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court.

The four-year-old German Shepherd bitch, called Abby, attacked Michael O’Hare, 72, in May last year on a country road near Littlefair’s Home Hill Farm house.

Mr O’Hare escaped with very minor leg injuries, but the animal’s next victim, Chloe Taylor, 39, said she was not so lucky, when the animal attacked her at the same spot while she was out running just months later in August.

The mother-of-two, told the Mail how she has been left scarred for life after the attack, during which a chunk of her thigh was ripped out.

Mrs Taylor spent three days in James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, where medics re-attached the flesh, but she said complications from the bite caused damage to her body’s nervous system and she needs regular hospital treatment.

Mrs Taylor, who lives at High Throston in Hartlepool, said: “The impact has been horrendous.

“I can no longer go running and I can’t walk brilliantly either.”

She said there is a now a hole in her thigh and she has also had to give up working full-time as a surveyor because of the health complications.

Mr O’Hare said: “If something had been done when I first reported the dog then Mrs Taylor would not have been left injured for life and that makes me so angry.

“Neither of us wanted the dog destroyed because it wasn’t the animal’s fault, it was the owner who was at fault.”

Littlefair was ordered to have the dog destroyed, fined £350 and ordered to pay £500 compensation to Mrs Taylor and £100 to Mr O’Hare.

He was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £38 surcharge.

He said losing his pet and people being injured has been very upsetting.

The councillor said: “It came as a huge shock to everyone who had met the dog that it had attacked.

“I am a farmer, I know animals and this dog had never shown any aggression.

“But, I have to take their word for it they were attacked.”