An XL Bully will be put down after its owner told police it would attack anyone who got close to it while it was loose in his back garden.

Patrick McKeown kept the dangerous dog in his back garden and told police that he had the pet at his address when they contacted him.

The 40-year-old had not had the dog neutered or taken out insurance after law changes made the dogs illegal in February.

Sussex Police said McKeown told them he had the dog when they called him about another matter.

The dog was reportedly seen loose in a back yard in Worthing and he warned officers that the dog would attack anyone who approached it.



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Former builder McKeown, of Church Road in Tarring, pleaded guilty to having a fighting dog and was given a community order, 100 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay nearly £200.

The dog will be destroyed, pending an appeal, after Worthing Magistrates Court ordered its destruction on March 12.

Sussex Police’s lead on dangerous dogs, Chief Inspector Simon Starns, said: “This was one of the first cases of its type to be prosecuted in Sussex.

“It demonstrates to the public that owners have a responsibility to ensure that they comply with the new laws which are now in force.

“We continue to work closely with partners to ensure dogs are kept safe through responsible ownership and to reduce the risk to the public.

“We continue to ask all dog owners to comply with Government guidance on the ownership of the XL Bully breed of dog.

“This includes ensuring that all XL Bully breed dogs are muzzled and kept on a lead held by someone aged over 16 when in public places.”