A dangerous dog is to be put down after leaving a police officer with puncture wounds and bruising to his leg.

Dodger, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier/Shar Pei cross, attacked the officer as he was visiting its owner, Julie Cooper at her home in Holecroft, Waltham Abbey, on 12 June at about 8.30am, as part of a criminal investigation.

At Chelmsford Magistrates' Court on Thursday, Miss Holland was ordered to pay £800 to the officer after pleading guilty to being the owner of a dog which was dangerously out of control and caused injury.

Dodger will be put down unless Mrs Cooper is successful in appealing against the sentence, which must be launched within 21 days.

Prosecutor Denise Holland told magistrates the officer went into the garden, called out saying ‘hello’ then the dog “ran out and lunged at him on each thigh in quick succession.”

Miss Holland said the officer drew his baton but Cooper came out and took control.

The officer was left with a bruise to the top of his right thigh and three puncture wounds to the top of his left leg, for which he received a tetanus jab and anti-biotics.

Because of his injuries the officer missed a camping trip with his family the following weekend.

Mitigating in person, Cooper explained she had never had an incident like this with the dog in the garden where she has a swing and children play.

She continued:  “I work in a care home and I’ve taken him in and he’s been passed around from lap to lap.”

Despite being shown a 100-signature “save the dog” petition, chair of the bench, Malcolm Bell said: “Zoologists think no animal is safe once it’s bitten someone.”