Police officer bitten by dog after going to break up domestic row

Great Yarmouth Magistrates' Court. Photo: Nick Butcher

Great Yarmouth Magistrates' Court. Photo: Nick Butcher - Credit: Archant

A domestic argument spiralled out of control and resulted in a police officer being bitten by a distressed dog, a court has heard.

Scott Howlett . Picture: Nick Butcher

Scott Howlett . Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Scott Howlett, 34, of Bevan Street West, Lowestoft, plead guilty today to being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control after a police woman was attacked by his 12-year-old spaniel-collie cross.

The victim was left with a puncture wound and extensive bruising to her left calf after Chase, a former airport sniffer dog, bit her at Howlett's home on Sunday, March 4.

Great Yarmouth Magistrates' Court heard that Howlett and his partner had been drinking earlier in the day.

While his partner returned home to make dinner Howlett stayed out to meet a friend; intending to head home shortly after.

Scott Howlett . Picture: Nick Butcher

Scott Howlett . Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

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However he was longer than planned and when he returned home complained the meal was 'cold and undercooked'.

An argument quickly followed in which Howlett's partner threw the dinner on the floor.

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At this point Howlett called the police, a decision he would later describe as 'an overreaction'.

When police arrived he was waiting outside and invited them in.

Police repeatedly told Howlett to secure the dog as it began acting aggressively once they were inside.

He initially did this but the dog broke free and joined the commotion as police attempted to arrest his partner after she allegedly she hit him.

Howlett was annoyed as he had not intended for her to be arrested and in the following argument Chase bit the officer.

His partner was arrested and the police officer was sent to hospital.

The court heard a personal statement from the victim in which she described the 'lasting' impact of the attack.

She said since the attack she had become wary around dogs and the scarring left her feeling 'down and upset' and 'uncomfortable wearing certain clothing'.

The officer was also restricted from her normal duties and confined to the police station when recovering from the attack.

Howlett was ordered to pay the officer £200 in compensation, pay an £85 victim surcharge and handed a 12-month community order.

As there was no record of Chase ever behaving aggressively before and the situation was 'distressing' for a dog 'naturally protective of its owner' a contingent destruction order was placed on the dog.

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