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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 September 2007, 15:42 GMT 16:42 UK
Owner escapes sausage dog charge
The owner of an eight-inch sausage dog has been cleared of letting it run out of control in public place.

Lucy, a dachshund, was alleged to have bitten neighbour Shawn Anderson outside his flat in Gosforth, Newcastle.

Her owner, Melanie Hobson, 26, was acquitted on Wednesday, after Newcastle magistrates heard the landscape gardener had suffered no injuries.

Mrs Hobson wept as she told the court how Lucy had become like a member of her family.

It is ridiculous this ever came to court and I think the magistrates have seen that for themselves
Dog owner Melanie Hobson

Magistrates heard she was carrying shopping from her car after a trip out with her two children when Lucy ran off in October.

The dog approached Mr Anderson, who lived in the flat below, ran round his legs and, according to him, nipped him on the ankle and bit his jeans.

His mother-in-law rang the police to complain on his behalf and an investigation was launched.

Asked how he felt after the dog attack, he told magistrates: "I was really, really angry. I was more or less inconsolable."

Series of disputes

Mrs Hobson was cleared of letting a dangerous dog run out of control in a public place after evidence that there were no teeth marks on Mr Anderson or damage to his jeans.

Defence solicitor Judith Curry said Mr Anderson's complaint had been motivated by a series of disputes between the neighbours.

Outside court, Mrs Hobson said: "I am so glad justice has been served. It is ridiculous this ever came to court and I think the magistrates have seen that for themselves."

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