A dog owner whose pets killed three sheep and chased a herd of pregnant ewes, has been hit in the pocket by magistrates.
Two Japanese Akita dogs, owned by Jason Sleddon, killed a lamb and two sheep after escaping from his back yard in Clayton-le-Moors.
When a police officer spotted the dogs chasing a herd of pregnant sheep at a field in Rishton, he tried to intervene but became “frightened for his own safety”, a court heard.
The vicious attack only came to an end when police marksmen shot the two dogs dead.
Sleddon, of Sparth Road, Clayton-le-Moors was ordered to pay almost £2,000 in compensation to farmers affected by the shocking incident, at Blackburn Magistrates’ Court.
Prosecutor Catherine Allan said Sleddon had been warned to keep his animals locked away after they got into a neighbouring garden and killed a cat in September 2012.
Sleddon was advised by the dog warden to make a more suitable boundary wall and took steps to make his back yard more secure, Miss Allan said.
But on December 27 the dogs went missing again and were spotted in a farmer’s field on February 23, 2013.
A passing police officer saw the Japanese Akitas killing a sheep, saw another ewe with animals bites, one lying motionless on the ground and another hiding in water.
The dogs chased 15 sheep, several of which ran towards a wooded area for shelter, and the officer became “frightened for his own safety”, the prosecutor said.
Miss Allan said the farmers collectively lost animals worth almost £2,000 in the attack and added: “This put the sheep in a very distressed state while they were in lamb.”
Sleddon, 24, admitted owning a dog which was dangerously out of control.
Jonathan Taylor, defending, said Sleddon tried to secure his back yard but could not afford suitable fencing and the dogs escaped through a weak spot.
He added: “Mr Sleddon is genuinely sorry.”
Magistrates ordered Sleddon to carry out 250 hours’ unpaid work with 12 months supervision and pay £1,952 compensation.
The chairman of the bench said: “This caused fatal injuries to at least three animals and considerable distress and safety to a flock of pregnant sheep.”