Pedestrians fled from rampaging mastiff in Lanark street

St Leonard Street in Lanark.
St Leonard Street in Lanark.
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Terrified pedestrians had to flee for safety as a dog attacked them in the streets of Lanark, and the out-of-control animal then tried to force its way into a home to get at a resident inside.

The dog involved in the incident was one of the strongest breeds on earth, a French mastiff, and its owner appeared at Lanark Sheriff Court on Thursday to admit failing to keep it under control during the incident in St Leonard Street and the surrounding area.

Allan Lees, 46, of White Neuk, Lanark, admitted that he was responsible for the animal on April 1 last year when it was “dangerously out of control” in St Leonard Street, Marrs Wynd and surrounding streets.

The court heard from depute fiscal Ziad Hassan that, at around 5.50pm, Lees reurned home from work and let the dog out into his garden without checking that the gate onto the street outside was secure.

It was, in fact, open, and Lees later claimed that some unknown person must have called at his home earlier that day and left it ajar.

He also discovered after the incident that part of his garden fence had been vandalised and suggested that the dog might have escaped through the resulting gap.

A man was making his own way home in St Leonard Street when he saw the dog running towards him, barking and causing him to fear he was about to be attacked, so he ran and found refuge in a nearby car showroom.

The dog then turned its attentions to another homecomer, running across St Leonard Street to get at him, causing traffic to swerve.

Using his umbrella to fend the animal off, Mr McKay made his escape into Potters Wynd, helped by a passing driver sounding his horn to distract the dog.

However, the animal followed him, growling and baring its teeth, and another passing motorist then stopped to allow him to take refuge in his vehicle.

A nearby resident then saw the dog at his patio window, jumping up at it with its paws before apparently trying to force open the front door with the weight of its body.

The police then brought the owner to the scene, and he got the animal under control and took it home.

The dog has since been put down, not due to the incident but because of a medical condition, the court heard.

No one was actually injured during the incident, it was reported.

Sentence was deferred on Lees for six months for good behaviour.