A DOG was encouraged to attack a man pushing a push chair containing a 15-month-old child, a court was told.

Such was the ferocity of the attack that it caused the victim to lose grip of the push chair as he tried to fend off the Staffordshire bull terrier.

Durham Crown Court heard the push chair rolled off the pavement onto a road.

Defendant Aaron Lee Cammock, known by the other man as ‘Azza’, pulled it back onto the pavement and applied the brakes, before, once again urging his dog, ‘Blue’, to attack the father of the boy.

The dog dragged him onto the road, causing the victim to fall onto crossroads, in Fifth Street, Horden.

Uzma Khan, prosecuting, said Cammock was heard to shout: “Get him”, as the dog again attacked.

A man working across the road tried to intervene and both he and the intial victim were attacked by the dog, despite trying to seek sanctuary in a nearby shop.

Cammock eventually left but police detained him and seized the dog, while the attacked men were treated.

Miss Khan said Cammock claimed he was sure his dog did not attack anyone, and, when told it had been seized, he replied: “You have taken my life from me.”

Since the incident, in February, 2019, the dog has been looked after at £7,400 expense to the public purse.

As it has previously attacked and bitten people, she asked for a destruction order.

Miss Khan said in separate incidents, Cammock carried out sustained attacks on a now former partner, in November last year.

She was treated at hospital for numerous cuts and bruises around her body and face.

Cammock, 28, of Thirteenth Street, Horden, who has 18 convictions for 29 offences, a number for violence, admitted four counts of assault causing actual bodily harm, plus being in charge of a dog that was dangerously out of control, causing injury.

Chris Baker, mitigating, said despite his record, Cammock had, “significantly”, been out of trouble for seven years, with no convictions at all for serious specified offending.

Judge Ray Singh said for some unknown reason Cammock set his dog on the initial victim, using it as “a weapon”, with potentially tragic consequences to the child in the push chair.

He described the attacks on Cammock’s ex-partner as “brutal and cowardly”.

Imposing a total 40-month prison sentence, he disqualified Cammock from owning a dog for ten years and ordered destruction of ‘Blue’.

He also put in place a lifelong restraining order prohibiting him from approaching or contacting his ex-partner.