A dog which has mauled a string of pets in the street has been granted a stay of execution by magistrates.

Three-year-old Bull Mastiff Osya shook one dog “like a rag doll” and bit two men in an attack in Kemp Town last year.

Council workers and horrified witnesses yesterday said they were disappointed by a court decision not to have the dog destroyed.

Dog owner Asiya Sitaeva, 61, was fined £4,000 by magistrates and banned from taking her pet out, after she lied about where her dog was to stop it being seized.

On December 10 last year Osya escaped from Sitaeva's home in Broad Street, Brighton, and attacked a smaller dog being walked by owner Gary Murphy.

Witnesses said Osya pinned the dog, called Benny, and “shook him like a rag doll”.

Drinkers at the nearby Marine Tavern ran outside and kicked and punched Osya to try and get him off. Mr Murphy and another man, Laurence Newell, were both bitten on the hand trying to free Benny from Osya's jaws.

Sitaeva tried to protect her own pet, shouting: “My poor dog, my poor dog” and told them “my dog didn't do anything”.

Benny needed £800 worth of veterinary work for injuries including a broken jaw. When Brighton and Hove City Council animal welfare officers and police went to Sitaeva's home to seize Osya, she claimed she had given him away to a couple of complete strangers on the seafront.

But at Brighton Magistrates' Court yesterday she admitted she knew where the dog was being looked after.

At the time of the attack Sitaeva, who also has an address in Albany Villas in Hove, was already under a court order to keep Osya under control.

He had been castrated after a series of attacks on other dogs on Brighton seafront in June last year.

The 61-year-old admitted owning a dog which injured two people while dangerously out of control in a public place and breaching the earlier order.

Her barrister Giles Morrison asked the court not to have Osya destroyed under the Dangerous Dogs Act but to impose tougher conditions on its care.

Magistrates imposed a “contingent destruction order” meaning Osya will be put down if Sitaeva does not obey a new order. She was barred from walking the dog in public and told only an adult aged between 18 and 55 can walk the dog.

Osya must be muzzled and on a lead at all times in public and must be kept on a long lead if in a private garden.

Sitaeva, was ordered to pay £4,439 including more than £2,000 prosecution costs, £500 compensation to the men Osya injured and a £500 fine for breaching the original order.

She was also ordered to pay Benny's vets' bills.

Presiding magistrate Dr Sue Berry said: “We believe the new and stringent control order will ensure Osya will not be a danger to the public.”

Outside the court Sue Watson, animal welfare officer, said: “What if Osya sees another dog and decides to go for it?

“I don't think anybody would be able to control him. We will be keeping a watchful eye on Osya's behaviour in the future.”

Mr Murphy, 56, said: “I'm speechless. It is only a matter of time until something else happens. This is a very dangerous dog.”