A man has been charged with using his dog as a weapon to severely injure a woman in Salisbury.
Emergency services were called to Tesco in Castle Street at around 1.30pm on Saturday (14 January) following reports of a dog attack outside the city supermarket.
John-Paul Hibbell, 43, today (Monday) appeared at Salisbury Magistrates’ Court charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent and owning a dog that caused injury whilst dangerously out of control.
Bethany Adams, prosecuting, said the victim – a homeless woman – sustained “deeply, deeply disturbing” injuries as a result of the dog “mauling her for a long period of time”.
She alleged that Hibbell punched the woman in the face and used the dog as a “weapon” – resulting in “severe” wounds to her arms.
Ms Adams assured the court that the dog is no longer in the defendant’s possession and is being held in secure kennels in Bristol.
Raymond Tan, defending, said his client, at the tie of the incident, was begging outside Tesco to raise funds for his dog – an eight-year-old white American Bulldog named Ghost – so that he is able to have treatment for a cancerous tumour.
He said Hibbell, who is also homeless, wants to stay in Bristol so he can be close to his dog – who he may be allowed to visit occasionally whilst supervised.
A charge of grievous bodily harm with intent can only be heard at the crown court and carries a maximum prison sentence of life. Therefore, the case was sent to Salisbury Crown Court for a plea hearing in February.
Chair of the bench Martin Clark released the defendant on bail with conditionals not to enter Wiltshire and to report to Bridewell Police Station in Bristol every Friday.