An Essex man who encouraged an Alsatian to attack a 78-year-old woman after she told him to pick up the dog’s poo on a playing field has been jailed for 16 months.

The Alsatian had run towards the woman, who had picked up the mess herself after Kane Bell ignored her request for him to do it, and knocked her over from behind causing her to go head over heels, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

She was then bitten three times on her hand before Bell called the dog back and walked off.

Bell, 36, of Clacton Road, Great Holland, admitted being in charge of a dog that caused serious injury while being dangerously out of control on June 14 last year in a playing field near Beacon Close, Brightlingsea.

Sentencing Bell, who also admitted being in breach of a suspended prison sentence, Judge Martyn Levett said he had used the dog, which he had been walking for someone else, as a weapon.

Bell was jailed after the incident in BrightlingseaBell was jailed after the incident in Brightlingsea (Image: Essex Police)

He said that Cubs had been using a scout hut on the playing field at the time of the attack.

Judge Levett said that as a result of the incident the victim had needed surgery on the injuries to her hand and had spent five days in hospital.

“She was clearly a vulnerable lady and the physical impact on her has been huge and has led her to struggle to carry out her day-to-day activities,” said the judge.

He said she was now unable to housework, cooking, ironing and gardening and had also had to give up her twice weekly yoga sessions, volunteering at a local food bank and her hobby of sea swimming.

He said that after Bell made no attempt to pick up the dog poo he had ignored the victim when she told him to pick it up because she was concerned about children using the playing field.

She had “public spiritedly” picked up the poo and was carrying it to a bin when Bell held on to the dog’s collar and pointed towards her, saying “get”, which caused the dog the run straight for her, said the judge.

In addition to jailing Bell, Judge Levett banned him from keeping a dog indefinitely and ordered him to pay £1,000 compensation to the victim.