A woman was dragged into a fast-flowing river as she fought to protect her pet dog from a Rottweiler.

After hearing details of the incident which left the woman and her partner traumatised a judge has ordered that the Rottweiler, which was rescued after being ill-treated in Romania, be put down.

And James Prince, owner of the seven-year-old Rottweiler called Bowzer, has been banned from keeping or owning a dog for five years.

At Llandudno magistrates’ court Prince, aged 26, of Coast Road, Rhyl, pleaded guilty to owning a dog dangerously out of control in Loggerheads Country Park on October 29 last year. The area is very popular with dog-walkers.

James Neary, prosecuting, said that Margaret Cloner and her f riend William Anderson, both in their 60s, were walking their two dogs on leads when they saw Bowzer and another Rottweiler approaching. They were not on leads and Prince and his father were some distance away.

Bowzer went for Dolly, Ms Cloner’s Yorkshire terrier cross and grabbed her back. Dolly was squealing and Ms Cloner tried to pick her up.

“The next thing they had fallen down the embankment into the river,” said Mr Neary.

Prince was then heard by other passers-by to say: “You should not have tried to pick the dog up. That’s what we do when we are baiting.”

Mr Anderson remonstrated with Prince who pushed him in the chest, causing him to stumble.

Dolly was limp and over the next 10 days needed treatment costing £350 in vet’s fees.

Ms Cloner, who was helped out of the river by another woman, told police that she was now frightened of large dogs and had flashbacks about the incident.

When interviewed, Prince said he had got Bowzer over two years ago through a Grimsby-based centre which took rescued dogs from Romania. He had been covered in burns and his legs and ribs had been broken.

He denied saying anything about baiting and claimed that Ms Cloner may have tripped over her lead.

Deborah Davies, defending, said the defendant loved dogs, helped at a rescue centre and took Bowzer and other dogs to schools.

“He accepts that all dogs should be kept on leads in public places and he is devastated by what went on,” she said.

District Judge Gwyn Jones said it was clear that Prince was aware of Bowzer’s background, that the dog would have been a threat and was out of control.

Referring to the attack, he said: “Those tendencies would still be there.”

Both Ms Cloner and Mr Anderson had been traumatised by the incident and Prince had clearly been unhappy about being challenged.

At that time of year the River Alyn would have been fast-flowing, he said.

Prince was ordered to carry out 170 hours of unpaid work and to pay Ms Cloner and Mr Anderson £200 each in compensation. He must also pay the vet’s fees of £350, costs of £85 and an £85 surcharge.