AN IRRESPONSIBLE Halesowen dog owner has been ordered to pay £1,350 after his "aggressive" terrier savagely attacked a woman and her pet in a Cradley Heath park.

The dog, which has been allowed to live, badly bit the hand of Julia Tolley as she walked with her eight-year-old daughter who was left traumatised by the incident.

Mr Bernard Linnemann, prosecuting, said the Patterdale terrier, owned by Kim Fowkes, broke free from its muzzle and harness after being startled by a firework and the dog also attacked Mrs Tolley's English setter.

Mr Linnemann told Wolverhampton Crown Court the terrier had a history of aggression and in an earlier incident it had attacked a pensioner.

He said: "A dog with this history having inadequate equipment to control it is perhaps not excusable. I think the important thing here is the ongoing and lasting effects on Mrs Tolley and her daughter - not the fact another dog was injured."

Fowkes of Highfield Crescent admitted being the owner of a dog dangerously out of control and he was fined £250, ordered to pay £500 compensation and £615 costs.

Recorder Edward Coke also made a contingent destruction order on the terrier meaning he will be destroyed if there is a further incident.

He told Fowkes: "It is a high price to pay but I am sure all dog lovers appreciate the need to protect children."

Miss Samantha Powis defending said the terrier had been frightened by the firework in Haden Hill Park and it broke free from Fowkes despite his best efforts to hang onto his pet.

She said: "I want to make the distinction between people who let bull terriers and staffies off in the park and these law abiding people."

"They do not want to see their dog destroyed when they have done all they can to make sure the dog is secure."

The court heard Fowkes had bought the terrier as a companion for his partner and the pet inside their home behaved "like a puppy" but it was a different animal when taken outside.