A Thamesmead woman whose XL Bully attacked a seven-year-old boy cried “he’s my son” as a judge ordered that the dog be destroyed. 

Amy Legemah, 37, then stormed out of the courtroom and kicked a bin down the hall. 

On March 12 last year her XL Bully Hugo bit a child on Attlee Road in Thamesmead. 

Then 11 days later Hugo and her other dog, a Rottweiler named Luna, attacked a terrified student. 

On Tuesday (February 20) Legemah appeared at Woolwich Crown Court where she was handed a community order after she pleaded guilty to being the owner of two dogs which were dangerously out of control. 

Legemah had attempted to convince Judge Anya Lewis KC that Hugo should not be put down because he isn’t dangerous.   

But Judge Anya Lewis KC ruled that Hugo does present a risk to the public and should be destroyed.   

'Bit a child’s leg’ 

Outlining the case against Legemah, prosecutor Obi Mgbokwere said the first attack took place after the seven-year-old boy had been petting Luna near Legemah’s home.  

When one of the boy’s relatives asked Legemah to bring Hugo out, she brought him out without a collar or leash.  

“The boy was running and playing with another child when the XL Bully went to him without warning, grabbed his leg and bit it,” Mr Mgbokwere said. 

When the boy began to cry Legemah pulled Hugo away and was very apologetic.  

The young boy was taken to hospital for treatment for minor injuries to his leg.  

The second incident took place on March 22 when Legemah tripped and dropped both Hugo and Luna’s leads as she left her flat to take them on a walk.  

Hugo ran off first, followed by Luna.  

An 18-year-old student who was passing the flat said the XL Bully stared at her before launching an attack.  

He jumped at her, biting her elbow and right knee, before Luna joined in the attacked and bit the woman’s ankle.  

The woman, who was knocked to the ground, said: “The incident made me fear for my life. I was very scared at the time and it has really shaken me up.”  

Legemah ran outside, got her dogs under control and was again very apologetic. 

News Shopper: The Government's decision to add XL bully dogs to the list of prohibited breeds under the Dangerous Dogs Act sparked protestsThe Government's decision to add XL bully dogs to the list of prohibited breeds under the Dangerous Dogs Act sparked protests (Image: PA)

‘My dogs aren’t dangerous’  

When she was interviewed by police after the second attack, Legemah said her dogs aren’t dangerous but admitted that Hugo can be “unpredictable”.  

Barrister Nicholas Ferrari, representing Legemah in court, said: “Ms Legemah had adopted Hugo from a bad home where he had suffered abuse and mistreatment in the past.  

“At the time of these incidents, he was still young and learning about the world. That unpredictability is now a thing of the past and we would say that he doesn’t pose a threat to the public.”  

Mr Ferrari urged Judge Lewis not to order the destruction of the dogs.  

He said that Hugo has been in a kennel since the attacks while Luna had been returned to Legemah but is now muzzled.  

The defence commissioned a report from a dog expert who said of Hugo: “This is a dog that can be controlled and with proper restrictions can be let out to the public.”  

Mr Ferrari said that Legemah does not have children and these dogs are her family.  

“They are well groomed, they are looked after and loved,” he said. 

‘MY SON’  

Judge Lewis sentenced Legemah to a one-year community order before turning to the issue of whether the dogs should be destroyed.  

Judge Lewis said: “There are two incidents involving Hugo injuring someone in a short period of time.  

“You yourself said Hugo can be unpredictable. It’s been explained to me that by unpredictable you meant that he had come from an abusive background. That doesn’t change the fact that he is unpredictable.  

“I am not satisfied that Hugo would pose no risk to the public. Therefore I must make a destruction order.”  

On hearing that Hugo will be put down, Legamah cried out “please no, he’s my son”.  

Judge Lewis decided that Luna, on the other hand, will not be put down immediately.  

But she ordered that if Luna is not kept under proper control with a lead and muzzle, she will be the subject of a destruction order.  

Legemah kicked a rubbish bin down the hallway as she stormed out of the courtroom.