A dangerous dog is to be castrated and handed back to its owner just days after a toddler was savaged to death in an unrelated attack.

Police seized seven-year-old bull mastiff Mace after it launched a vicious unprovoked attack on another dog.

The puppy was grabbed by the throat and pinned to the ground three times by Mace leaving it badly injured.

The attack happened as the terrified owner walked her nine-month-old dog Nanook in Staplefield Drive, Brighton.

She screamed and kicked out at Mace as she tried to get it off the Alaskan Malamute puppy on March 7. (2010) Ashley Gosden, Mace's owner, was traced and prosecuted under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

Len Batten, prosecuting for Brighton and Hove City Council, said there had been a string of previous complaints from local residents about Mace's behaviour.

Gosden, 21, of Staplefield Drive, Moulsecoomb, admitted failing to keep Mace under proper control in a public place.

He was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay £100 costs at Brighton Magistrates Court.

Gosden was also ordered to pay £150 kennel fees after Mace spent a month in custody awaiting his fate.

He will be castrated and will have to be muzzled and on a lead when out in public in future.