A MAN has been banned from keeping dogs after his unmuzzled Labrador-boxer cross bit two people, in spite of an earlier court ruling ordering him to keep the animal under proper control.

Martin Sykes appeared before the courts in June 2017, when he was told to keep dog Zac muzzled in public.

The dog had bitten a child in Poole Road, Bournemouth on March 23 that year.

Under the order, Sykes was also told to keep the dog under control at all times.

The dog was also ordered to be kept insured at all times and walked with a ‘suitably robust collar, harness and short lead’.

However, on Friday, Sykes, 59, appeared back before magistrates in Poole to admit two counts of being an owner or person in charge of a dog which caused injury and one of failing to comply with a dog control order.

The defendant, who lives in Frost Road, West Howe, Bournemouth was walking Zac without a muzzle when the dog bit Robert Viccars in Spicer Lane, Bournemouth, on November 15 2018.

Just over a month later, on December 12, the dog bit Brandon Frost.

Neither of the victims was seriously hurt.

It was also alleged by prosecutors that Zac lunged for a schoolchild in High Howe Lane. The animal was muzzled at the time and the child was not injured.

David Hurley, representing Sykes, said the defendant has owned dogs for 25 years.

“There was no difficulty with the others,” Mr Hurley said.

“The dog in this case appears to be very well cared-for.”

However, Zac was “tortured”in one home before Sykes agreed to take the dog on, the court heard.

“The dog appears to be fearful of humans. The reaction is to bite,” Mr Hurley said.

“I have asked why the dog was without its muzzle and [Sykes] cannot give me a proper explanation. Whether it’s laziness on his part, I don’t know.”

The defendant is a “very marginalised individual”, the solicitor said.

“He is 59 and he lives alone in a council flat on benefits,” he said.

“He is very, very isolated. His dog is really his life.

“The removal of the dog for him is the biggest punishment.”

The dog is currently in the care of Dorset Police.

Prosecutors didn’t make an application for it to be destroyed.

District judge Stephen Nicholls made an order prohibiting Sykes from keeping any animal for a year.

Sykes was also made the subject of a conditional discharge, under which he must carry out 120 hours of unpaid work and pay £175 in compensation to the two men bitten by his dog.

In May, Joshua Halcrow, 35 and of Wimborne Road, Bournemouth, admitted being in charge of a pitbull-type dog which was dangerously out of control and injured a person in Charminster Road, Bournemouth.

He also admitted a second charge of having a dog to which section one of the Dangerous Dog Act applies.

Magistrates at Poole sentenced him to eight weeks in prison suspended for 12 months.

The dog was also due to be destroyed unless Halcrow lodged an appeal against the decision.