A DOG that went berserk and ripped clumps of fur out of a guide dog on a Southampton street is on death row after magistrates ruled it must be destroyed.

Roxy, a boxer belonging to Wycliffe Gayle attacked the dog called Vicki while she was guiding owner Lyn Godwin along Portswood Road.

As previously reported by the Daily Echo, witnesses said they were shocked by the aggression shown by Roxy during the attack.

Southampton Magistrates’ Court heard that the boxer, which was tied up outside while Gayle, 55, went into a bank, slipped her leash and backed the pair up against a wall, forcing members of the public to intervene.

Chairman of the bench Karen Hopwood said: “You failed to secure the dog appropriately and by your own admission she has a problem with other female dogs.

“Witnesses said that the incident was terrifying and they were shocked by the level of aggression, but probation expressed concern about your thinking skills and level of acknowledgement of responsibility.

“You admitted that she did not like other dogs and sometimes ran away, and we feel that a conditional destruction order is not appropriate.”

Magistrates ordered that the dog be destroyed while Gayle, of Oak Road, Southampton, was banned from owning a dog for five years and ordered to pay £741.71 compensation.

The court was told that Gayle, who is unemployed and suffers from back problems, had taken over care of the dog five years ago and improved her condition and fitness.

Daily Echo:

Wycliffe Gayle

He had initially pleaded not guilty to being the owner of a dog allowed to be dangerously out of control in a public place and cause injury, but later admitted the charge.

Speaking after the sentencing Gayle told the Daily Echo that he thought Roxy should not be put down.

He said: “I think it’s unjust and it’s the dog’s first offence. For a first-time offence with a dog I’ve got a five-year ban and a £700 fine.”

Lyn Godwin read an emotional letter to the court outlining the effect the attack had on the relationship between her and her dog Vicki.

Magistrates heard that her confidence had been shaken by the event and explained how Vicki had become more nervous around dogs that looked similar to Roxy.

She told the Daily Echo: “The experience has not been good and I’ve put up with six months of [Gayle] pleading not guilty and changing his plea.

“I think perseverance has paid off and it’s a sentence befitting the crime.”

As well as paying compensation, Gayle was ordered to undergo a six-month supervision order.