A JUDGE said he would be “failing in his duty” if he did not hand a firm sentence down to a dog owner whose pit bull terrier attacked a man.
Oxford Crown Court heard that Thomas Derosa, 24, told his dog Kush to “get” Matthew Brewerton on June 6 last year. The attack left Mr Brewerton with bites to his right hand and fingers as well as cuts to his shin and forearm.
Derosa, pictured, of Kynaston Road, Didcot, was yesterday jailed for 27 months and banned from owning a dog for a decade after being found guilty of three counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and one of being in charge of a dog that was dangerously out of control in a public place.
His barrister, Andrew Hobson, had said Derosa should be given a community order because he suffered from alcohol problems and low self-esteem, which stemmed from being bullied at school.
But Judge Ian Pringle said: “I would be failing utterly in my duty if I were not to take a firm line in relation to this offence. There are those in society who regard having dogs such as Kush as status symbols, and those who regard them as not just status symbols but as weapons, and that is quite intolerable.”
Mr Brewerton, a builder, said Derosa turned up drunk outside his house in Sinodun Road, Didcot, and shouted his name. He said the dog bit him before he chased it away using a shovel but Derosa set Kush on him again.
Dominic Lewis, prosecuting, said the dog was put down after it attacked one of the defence experts who examined it.
• Our top stories:
6:24pm Saturday 22nd November 2014
TWO men were assaulted in Oxford city centre last weekend.
What have our brilliant columnists said this week - choose your favourite in our interactive collage
4:00pm Saturday 22nd November 2014
Just what have our thought-provoking columnists been writing about this week? Catch up with our interactive collage giving you a choice from 9 of the best
3:00pm Saturday 22nd November 2014
We've had some wonderful pictures this week - here's our interactive spread with links to the stories behind the photos
11:19am Saturday 22nd November 2014
Callers to the police's non-emergency 101 number are being urged to stay on the line despite problems.
9:30am Saturday 22nd November 2014
Michael Appleton says Oxford United will need to be intelligent if they are to keep heavyweight striker Adebayo Akinfenwa quiet for AFC Wimbledon today.
11:34am Friday 21st November 2014
Six things you may not have known were happening in Oxfordshire this weekend.