POLICE marksmen had to be called in the kill a pair of dogs which left a trail of death as they attacked sheep in farmer’s fields in Rishton.

Blackburn magistrates heard a total of 11 sheep were killed as the Japanese Akitas, also known as Japanese fighting dogs, turned savage.

And a police officer who tried to chase the dogs away was left in fear for his own safety when they turned towards him baring their teeth and growling.

Jason Sleddon, 23, of Sparth Road, Clayton-le-Moors, pleaded guilty to being the owner of dogs dangerously out of control. He was remanded on bail for the preparation of a pre-sentence report.

Police received reports of dogs chasing sheep near the Leeds and Liverpool canal at Cut Lane in Rishton.

PC Simon Grounds, who was first on the scene, saw the dogs attacking and killing sheep.

He followed them up the hill towards Tanhouse Farm where he saw them kill more sheep and attack and chase others.

PC Grounds requested the attendance of firearms officers as he continued to follow the dogs.

At one stage he approached the dogs and tried to chase them away from the sheep but they became aggressive towards him, snarling and growling at him.

The officer had to back off and during the time he was waiting for support saw the dogs kill two more sheep.

The attacks happened in February and both farmers who lost sheep said the ewes were pregnant and many more could have died or lost lambs as a result of the attacks.