Woman bitten by dog in row with boyfriend at her Easington home

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The Northern Echo: Static HTML image by , Chief Reporter (Durham)

A WOMAN was bitten by her boyfriend’s American bull terrier dog during a domestic row, a court heard.

She suffered cuts and scratches to her arms, leg and hip in the incident at her home in Easington Colliery, County Durham, in October.

But, police were called and officers spoke to her boyfriend, Brett Wallis Murray, who was sleeping in an upstairs bedroom.

Joanne Kidd, prosecuting, said it was later found he should not have been at the house, due to a previous restraining order forbidding him from visiting his girlfriend, after previous violent incidents.

Police returned days later and arrested Murray, who spent 14 weeks in custody.

The court heard he has previous convictions for battery, criminal damage and assault arising from domestic incidents with both previous and the most recent girlfriend.

Murray, 22, of Mary Street, New Silksworth, Sunderland, admitted breaching a restraining order.

An initial further charge for assault, relating to the dog bite, was dropped by the Crown, as it was accepted he had not set his dog onto the woman.

Alex Burns, mitigating, said it was “an odd situation” as his girlfriend allowed him to return to the house and even picked him up on his release from custody.

“He now accepts, however, he can’t see her and has severed contact,” added Mr Burns.

Recorder Jonathan Aitken said it was not for Murray or his girlfriend to decide that the order could be flouted.

He said that as Murray spent 14 weeks behind bars as a result of the breach he would not impose a further custodial order.

He passed a 12-month community order with 120-hours’ unpaid work, plus a £60 victim surcharge.

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