A CASE where two dangerously out of control XL Bullies attacked multiple women and their pets has been sent to Crown Court.

As previously reported by the Star, Amanda Wilkie, of Southworth Road in Newton-le-Willows, was charged with two counts of being the owner of a dangerously out of control dog following an incident in Newton-le-Willows last year.

Today, (Tuesday, May 28) Sefton Magistrates Court heard how two off-the-lead XL Bullies attacked an individual and their dog in Willow Park on Thursday, August 17, 2023, with this unidentified person being dragged across the grass by one of the dogs.

The XL Bullies then bounded towards two more women, Christine Potts and Tracey Heyhurst, and attacked their Papillon and West Highland Terrier.

With both dogs suffering puncture wounds from the attack, Ms Potts and Ms Heyhurst were also injured when trying to save their pets; with Ms Heyhurst putting her dog in an open bin to save him from further attack, and Ms Potts being bitten on the nose and lip as she covered her Papillon.

The two women then fled to safety after a member of the public called for them to hide in his van.

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St Helens Star: Christine has suffered physically and mentally after the attackChristine has suffered physically and mentally after the attack (Image: Christine Potts)
Will Griffin, prosecuting, explained that Wilkie - who is alleged to have been drunk at the time of the incident - was eventually able to get one of the XL Bullies under control.

However, she was unable to get the second dog under control and the XL Bully went onto attack another woman, Jackie Mahoney, and her Yorkshire Terrier-Chihuahua.

With Ms Mahoney's pet suffering puncture wounds, she was also injured and dragged by the XL Bully, which caused her to tumble down a set of stairs as she tried to get her dog to safety.

While the incident is understood to have a lasting impact on all of those involved, Mr Griffin read out a victim impact statement from Ms Potts, which explained that she has suffered lingering mental health difficulties following the attack.

The woman reported that she has experienced anxiety, panic attacks, and PTSD from the attack, and now feels unsafe when walking her dog.

St Helens Star: Jackie Mahoney's Yorkshire Terrier-Chihuahua also suffered serious injuriesJackie Mahoney's Yorkshire Terrier-Chihuahua also suffered serious injuries (Image: Jackie Mahoney)
While Wilkie pleaded guilty to both charges, the 44-year-old explained that her ex-partner is the owner of the two XL Bullies - although she was taking care of the dogs at the time of the attack.

After hearing evidence from the prosecution, the magistrates decided to send the case to Liverpool Crown Court as they have limited sentencing powers.

The court heard that sentencing guidelines for the two offences could range between six months to 2 years imprisonment.

Speaking to Wilkie, who stood tearfully in the dock, the magistrates said: "We have concluded that our powers are insufficient because of the seriousness of the case and the aggravating factors at the time.

"Therefore, we will be sending this case to the Crown Court."

A sentencing date was set for Tuesday, June 25, and a Crown Prosecution Service report will also be submitted as to whether the dogs have been destroyed or remain in police custody.