A DEVASTATED dog walker has been slapped with a fine after her dog escaped from its lead and sunk its teeth into a cyclist.

Catherine Dennish, 73, gave a false name and address when the furious victim asked for her details.

Colchester Magistrates’ Court heard the Collie-Husky cross had previously bitten people twice, but Dennish was let off with a warning on both occasions.

The court heard she was supposed to keep the three-year-old dog muzzled and on a lead at all times in public.

The latest attack happened in Tollesbury last July.

Lesla Small, prosecuting, read out a statement from the victim, who was visiting his boat at the time of the incident.

He said: “I saw a female who had two dogs with her, one of the dogs was running towards me, it was barking.

“At this point it didn’t seem aggressive, just like a boisterous dog.

“As the dog was walking towards me the female was trying to call the dog back, but the dog wasn’t taking any notice.

“It came up to the right side, continued barking as it got close to my leg it bit my right calf.

“This caused me pain, the dog’s teeth punctured my calf and and the wound started to bleed.

“I managed to put my bike between me and the dog.

“I said to her: ‘Look at what your dog has done to my leg.’

“She replied with words like: ‘I am so sorry,’ as she tried to control the dog.

“I said it wasn’t good enough, what if it had bitten a child?

“She said she didn’t see what happened as she was cleaning up dog mess.”

Dennish, of Woodrolfe Park, Tollesbury, then gave the victim a false name and address.

Selena Dines, mitigating, said Dennish is an experienced dog owner, walking ten to 15 miles every day with her dogs as a way of keeping active.

She said: “She deliberately chose a relatively remote area.

“She explained her dog does not get on very well with a muzzle, the dog gets very distressed with a muzzle on.

“She is absolutely devastated. She says not a day goes by when she doesn’t beat herself up.

“She takes that responsibility, the dog can’t put its own muzzle on, she has since taken the dog on a behaviour course run by an ex-police officer and dog trainer.”

Magistrates issued a “contingent” dog destruction order, meaning the dog will be put down should a further incident occur.

Dennish must pay £905 in fines, costs and compensation to the victim.