Out of control: CCTV image of the pitbull-type terrier attacking the well-trained guide dog lab Neela
A teenager has been banned from keeping animals for 10 years after his pit bull terrier-type pet savaged a blind woman's guide dog.
Chocolate-brown lab Neela was badly wounded in the attack when John-Jo Madden's dog went berserk in an underpass at a railway station.
She was pinned to the ground in a three-minute mauling by the unleashed animal and needed emergency treatment for deep puncture wounds to her neck. She showed no aggression at all in the attack and has since fully recovered
Rather than pull it away, Madden was seen on CCTV punching and kicking his animal in a futile attempt to end the attack. At one point he even ran off before eventually managing to drag his dog away.
Madden, 18, was traced when investigators released CCTV images of him drinking from a can of beer and loitering near the scene of the attack at Cricklewood railway station, north London.
Guilty: John-Jo Madden outside court where he was banned from keeping dogs after the attack on chocolate-brown lab Neela, who is now fully recovered
He got a three-month suspended sentence at Hendon Magistrates' Court, in north London. He was also ordered to do 150 hours community service and pay £1,200 compensation to the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association plus £500 to the owner.
The 57-year-old blind woman, who was left deeply shocked by the attack last October and doesn't want to be named, said: 'To be unable to see the assault was horrific and terrifying.
'What was to become of Neela, my faithful sighted guide and what of myself and my independence? In seconds both were being snapped away from me.
'She was being attacked and suffering tremendous pain and not knowing why. I felt tremendous guilt that Neela would associate the onslaught with me. It was a period of total isolation and fear.'
As vicious as his pet: Madden tries to stop his dog attacking by kicking him
Lucky to be alive: Neela limps away after her terrible mauling
Detective Constable Gerry Griffin, of British Transport Police, said: 'This was a very sad case that shocked dog lovers across the country.
'I'm pleased to say that Neela, who displayed no aggression whatsoever during the attack, has fully recovered and is now back to work at her owner's side.
'I would like to thank the public for all of the information that was provided after the appeal, while Neela's owner wishes to thank everyone who has sent messages of support during what has been a very distressing time for her.'
DC Griffin said the case sends a strong message about the responsibilities of dog ownership.
'The incident clearly illustrates the importance of making sure that dogs are under the control of their owners at all times particularly in public places such as railway stations,' he said.
Madden, of Gospel Oak, north London, admitted one offence of possessing a dangerous dog in a public place under the Dangerous Dogs Act.
The dog involved has not been found after Madden gave it away. Magistrates issued an order for its destruction.
Chris Dyson, of the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, said: 'We appeal to all pet dog owners: if you think there is any chance that your dog will be aggressive towards other dogs, or humans, please keep it on a lead, and muzzled if necessary.'