Hyndburn dangerous dogs owner faces jail

FACING JAIL Mark Rowland

‘FEROCIOUS’ Armed police at the scene of the attack, in Rishton, where they shot dead the two dogs belonging to Mark Rowland

First published in Baxenden Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy news editor

A MAN has admitted keeping dangerous dogs after his best friend was almost ‘eaten alive’ by his pets.

Mark Rowland, 24, is now facing jail after pal Daniel Boardman, 19, was mauled.

He had denied that his pets Coco and Dekker were ‘pit-bull types’, claiming that they were bull mastiffs.

Mr Boardman, who now lives in Baxenden, was hospitalised for more than a month and suffered ‘life-changing’ injuries in the incident at his home, in Sands Road, Rishton, on March 14, when he was looking after the dogs.

Yesterday, Hyndburn magistrates heard for the first time the gruesome details of the incident.

Parveen Akhtar, prosecuting, said two police officers were forced to use Taser stun guns to free Mr Boardman from the jaws of the ‘ferocious’ animals.

His injuries on his left arm were so bad that the bone and tendons were exposed.

Sixty police officers in riot gear, armed officers and a specialist from a zoo – trained in tranquillising lions – were then involved in a 30-hour operation to get the dogs out of the house in Rishton.

They were shot dead at the scene.

Rowland and Mr Boardman are best friends and have known each other for 10 years, Rowland’s solicitor Peter King said.

He said: “Daniel was very familiar with the dogs and had complete confidence in their temperament and behaviour.”

He said that Rowland had owned the dogs for two-and-a-half years.

Mr King added: “They were bought as domestic pets, not as fighting, or enforcement, dogs.”

The court heard that the dogs were examined and identified by experts as ‘class one’ dangerous dogs.

Rowland, of Hill Street, Baxenden is expected to be jailed next month when he is sentenced.

The offence is in breach of a suspended prison sentence he was given in November.

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