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Man pleads guilty over dangerous dog attack in Walthamstow
The owner of a banned pitbull dog which savaged another animal in a Walthamstow park has been sentenced to a community order.
Johnny Tenjo, 28, of Greenleaf Road in Walthamstow, was also told to pay £700 compensation after the attack in Lloyd Park in May 2012.
He was with his pet, which was not on a lead, when it ran up to a Jack Russell and sunk its teeth into the animal's neck, causing severe injuries.
The dog, a 10-year-old called Sparky, underwent extensive veterinary treatment and has largely recovered, although still suffers some after-effects of the attack.
Sparky's distraught owner, 34-year-old civil servant Paul McGuinness, contacted the Guardian at the time and said Tenjo had blamed him for walking in "his" territory.
Speaking after Tenjo's conviction, Mr McGuinness said: "I am happy some justice has been served. But I think it’s a shame it had to come to this.
"A lot of valuable time and money could have been saved had Mr Tenjo been a gentleman, apologised and offered to help.
“Sparky has recovered well, except that she snores loudly now and struggles to breath at night because of long term nerve damage in her throat. She is still very friendly with other dogs.”
Mr McGuinness said the attack only ended when Tenjo pulled his animal off Sparky.
But to his amazement Tenjo then calmly resumed his game of fetch with his pitbull despite MrMcGuinness fearing Sparky had died from the mauling.
Tenjo was arrested several days later in the same park when a police officer noticed he matched the description given by Mr McGuinness.
Mr McGuinness added: “I hope this will encourage others to come forward and report such incidents so that we can enjoy our parks and streets without fear of a vicious dog mauling."
Tenjo pleaded guilty to possession of a banned breed of dog and allowing it to be dangerously out of control during a hearing at Thames Magistrates Court.
His supervision community order is for ten months, during which time he will have to attend regular meetings with a probation officer in an attempt to improve his behaviour and attitude.
The case was prosecuted by Waltham Forest Council after an investigation by its Dog Enforcement Team.
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