A STAFFORDSHIRE bull terrier owner has been handed a 56-day suspended jail sentence after his dog bit a pensioner in the head, groin and hands.

Nicholas James Hildebrand, aged 26, of Shakespeare Road, Dartford, was sentenced on Monday after admitting allowing his Staffordshire bull terrier, Banksy, to be dangerously out of control.

Dartford Magistrates’ Court heard on April 27, Hildebrand’s dog escaped through the window of his front room at home and attacked 75-year-old John Keane in Priory Hill, Dartford.

The dog ran behind Mr Keane who was out walking Springer Spaniel, Oscar, and bit the smaller dog in the neck.

Banksy then turned on Mr Keane, biting his hands, groin and head.

The pensioner sustained damage to his left ear, while his left eye was left bloodshot from the attack.

At the time of the incident, Hildebrand, a father-of-one, was away from home, leaving his housemate asleep in the house.

Hildebrand’s housemate woke up to hear the noise outside, rushed out and struck Banksy so he would let go of the victim.

Police were called to the scene and Banksy was seized and taken to civilian kennels.

Hildebrand, who has grown up with dogs as family pets, told News Shopper the case has had a traumatic effect on him.

The Sainsbury’s worker said: “I’ve found it devastating.

“I’ve had Banksy for two years since he was a puppy. He’s part of the family.

“When he was taken away, it was unbearable.

“He’s my best friend, he was always around and then he wasn’t.

“I don’t even know where he’s been kept and I wasn’t allowed to visit him.”

Defending Hildebrand, Giles Morrison said: “When Mr Hildebrand went out, he thought the window was closed.

“He was not well at the time and was on medication which may have stopped him from making necessary steps to make sure he was secure.

“He has expressed genuine remorse for what happened to Mr Keane and his dog.”

Magistrates ordered Hildebrand to pay £1,000 compensation to Mr Keane, £135 to cover vet bills and £85 court costs.

ANIMAL psychologist Doctor Roger Mugflood was called in to court to give recommendations on what should happen to Banksy.

The court decided he should be:

1. Castrated

2. Muzzled in a public place

3. Kept on a lead of 2m or less when in public

4. Always under the control of a responsible adult of 16 years or over

5. Never taken within 100m of Priory Hill

6. To be micro-chipped

7. To wear a clearly legible ID disc with Hildebrand’s mother’s name on

8. Under the care of Hildebrand's mother until he moves to secure accommodation

9. His mother to take care of Banksy until Hildebrand finds a new home that is approved secure by Kent Constabulary.