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Two children bitten by out-of-control dog after it escaped house

Rachael Willmott was ordered to pay £250 compensation to each victim (Picture: Evening Gazette/Rex)

A woman has been ordered to pay £500 compensation to two young children after her son’s dog escaped the house and attacked them as they left school.

The pupils, a boy and girl, had been standing outside the gates in Middlesbrough when the Akita-cross wandered past on September 18 last year.

The dog, named Meister, first went for the girl, biting her on the arm before sinking its teeth into her belly and then lunging at the boy.

Both children sustained injuries in the attack, which has now left them scared of dogs.

Rachael Willmott, 47, was charged with being a person in charge of a dangerous dog that was out of control following the incident.

The dog belonged to her son, but she was looking after it at the time and didn’t realise it had escaped from her back yard until hearing of the attack.

Willmott, from Middlesbrough, admitted the charge at Teesside Crown Court where she was handed a four-month prison sentence, suspended for a year, and ordered to pay £250 compensation to each child.

She was also made subject to a three-month curfew.

A mum has avoided being sent straight to jail after her son's dangerous dog escaped and attacked two schoolchildren. The boy and girl had been standing outside of their school in Middlesbrough when the Akita-cross bit them separately on September 18, last year. Rachael Louise Willmott appeared at Teesside Magistrates' Court on Tuesday. Rachael Louise Willmott from Middlesbreough who appeared at Teesside Magistrates' Court accused of having a dog dangerously out of control, causing injury. The Akita crossbreed was out of control at Outwood Academy and injured two children. DOB 28/01/1973

Rachael Willmott admitted a charge of having a dog dangerously out of control causing injury (Picture: Evening Gazette)

Prosecutor Jonathan Gittins told the court the children were standing outside of school at around 2.30pm when they saw the ‘large dog’ wandering around ‘by itself’ without a leash.

A teacher attempted to usher the children away, but it walked up to the girl and bit her right forearm, ‘causing a puncture’.

Mr Gittens went on: ‘The girl pulled away her arm and the dog bit her stomach. She had to kick the dog in order for it to release its grip and she ran to the teacher.’

The Akita-cross then ran over to a boy who was standing nearby and ‘jumped at him and latched on to his right forearm’. The attack also left the boy with puncture wounds to his arm before it ran off.

Both children were taken to James Cook University Hospital for treatment.

The court heard that Willmott had already been warned about the crossbreed and had a ‘dog behaviour contract’ in place.

Willmott was spared jail at Teesside Crown Court (Picture: Andrew McCaren/LNP/Rex)

Stephen Constantine, defending, said the dog was put in the back yard by Willmott as she was expecting a ‘plumber’ to come round.

But the dog managed to escape, with Willmott not realising until hearing of the attack on the boy and girl. He said she immediately contacted police upon hearing the news.

Mr Constantine told the court the dog belonged to her son, who ‘brings trouble to her door’ and ‘dumps the dog with her’ during ‘periods of incarceration’.

She also looked after another dog named Jager – after the drink.

He added Meister has not been found since the attack and that Willmott’s son is now living out of the Teesside area.

Judge Paul Watson QC said the attack left the children with ‘extremely unpleasant injuries’ but that Willmott has ‘expressed remorse right from the start’.

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