A GRANDMA of five has been ordered to keep her Staffordshire Bull Terrier muzzled in public after the 11-year-old dog attacked a gardener.

Janette Ratcliffe, of Northolt Court, spoke of her surprise that her dog, Reds, had acted in such a way.

A court heard how the dog escaped from Ratcliffe’s home on September 13 at 1.40pm after she had left the gate open and ‘clamped on’ to gardener Ronald John Greenall, who had been mowing the lawn in a neighbouring property.

Prosecuting Alison Warburton said: “The victim was pushing a lawn mower when he felt what he described as a thump and then realised there was a dog attached to his stomach. He felt excruciating pain.”

The dog, which has lived at Ratcliffe’s home for the past 10 years, then ran back into her house.

Mr Greenall suffered reddening to his stomach with a puncture wound and scratch marks.

Ratcliffe pleaded guilty on March 21 to being the owner of a dangerous dog and allowing it to be dangerously out of control in a public place and cause injury.

The defence team argued that Reds was ‘not an inherently vicious or dangerous dog’ and that the lawn mower must have made a noise to startle the dog.

When Ratcliffe let the dog out of the house, she had her grandson in her hands so was unable to run after Reds, the court heard.

But Ratcliffe later went to check on the victim, who told her he was ‘ok’, argued her defence The 58-year-old was handed a curfew for eight weeks at Halton Magistrates Court on Monday and a contingent destruction order was imposed on the dog.

Ratcliffe was also ordered to pay £100 in compensation, £150 in court costs and £60 victim surcharge.

Speaking after the conviction, Ratcliffe disputed the fact that the dog was dangerous.

She said: “I have five grandchildren, three under 18 months, and there is no way on this earth I would allow a dangerous dog near them.”