A Blyth women has been sentenced to four years in jail after her dog attacked 12 children at a local playground.
Claire Neal's brown and white Staffordshire bull terrier "Marley" escaped the front yard of her home and set upon the children in the nearby park. The dog had previously attacked children twice and had already been ordered to be destroyed.
According to itv.com, one of the victims said she fainted after the dog "closed its jaws on her". One of the parents described their child's leg as looking like "Swiss cheese" following the attack. The incident took place in May 2016.
Of the 12 children attacked, three had to stay overnight at hospital for treatment.
Judge Sarah Mallet condemned Neal's negligence. "It was ridiculous to suggest Marley was not your dog, you were the owner and responsible for her at all times," Mallet said. Neal had originally pleaded not guilty and argued the dog was the responsibility of the court after the initial destruction ruling.
"It's clear from these descriptions there were serious injuries but it is also clear there was significant psychological harm," Mallet said.
Neal, 39, eventually changed her plea to guilty. She has also been banned from ever owning a dog again. The Staffordshire bull terrier has been destroyed.