A 74 year old woman repeatedly hit a rottweiler with her walking stick as it savaged her tiny Yorkshire terrier.

Blackburn magistrates heard that when the woman went to scoop up her pet she was bitten by the snarling dog whose owner was sat on a nearby grass bank in a drunken stupor.

And after hearing the offence came within days of Julie Ashton being sentenced for a similar offence district judge Nick Sanders jailed her for seven months.

Ashton, 55, of Moorgate Street, Mill Hill, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control resulting in injuries to a person and possession of a dog while disqualified.

Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said Ashton had been the owner of two rottweilers and was well known to the police who had been to her home on numerous occasions because of problems with the dogs.

Ashton was convicted after a trial in August of having a dog dangerously out of control.

“The circumstances of that incident were virtually identical to this one,” said Miss Allan. “One of the defendant’s dogs attacked a smaller dog and when the owner has tried to protect his dog he was bitten,” said Miss Allan.

“On August 9 she was sentenced to six weeks in prison suspended for 12 months, disqualified from keeping dogs until further notice and a destruction order made against the dog. The latest incident happened just nine days later.”

Miss Allan, said Barbara Wildman, 74, was walking her dog, Pip, when she saw Ashton and another person on a grass bank and they had obviously been drinking. The rottweiler saw Pip and ran across the grass and grabbed the Yorkshire terrier.

“The defendant was extremely drunk and had no control over the dog,” said Miss Allan.

“Mrs Wildman was hitting the dog with her walking stick and eventually managed to get it to release its hold. As she tried to scoop up her dog she was bitten on the hand by the Rottweiler which was baring its teeth. Pip was lying on the floor covered in blood and Mrs Wildman was bleeding from her wounds.”

Pip was taken to the emergency vet for treatment and Mrs Wildman was taken to hospital.

Michael Blacklidge, defending, said Ashton realised she had put herself in a difficult situation.

“She never felt for one moment that having two dogs would lead her to where she is today,” said Mr Blacklidge. “She is a lady who has suffered from deteriorating health and circumstances in recent years and has an alcohol dependency and the combination has made controlling the dogs rather difficult”