A DOG owner whose pet unleashed an unprovoked attack on a passing jogger has been told he can keep the animal.

Eddy Hilden, of Scallows Lane, West Wellow, was told during a hearing at Southampton Magistrates’ Court on Monday that his pet lurcher, Luke, would not be destroyed.

However, the 49-year-old was slapped with a number of conditions for keeping the dog, including muzzling the animal in public.

He was also to do 150 hours of community work and ordered to pay £350 compensation to the victim of the attack.

The court heard how the incident took place in December last year as the female victim jogged past Hilden’s home in Scallows Lane.

Prosecutor Natalie Angel said how the lurcher, who was unaccompanied at the time, attacked the jogger, leaving a number of puncture wounds in her left thigh.

Reading from a victim impact statement, Miss Angel said the jogger felt she could no longer run along Scallows Lane because she “feared” coming up to that part of the road.

The victim said she felt “particularly aggrieved” as she could “no longer enjoy” the road’s countryside views.

In defence of Hilden, the court heard how the gardener had enacted many of the recommended conditions already and the dog had not attacked anyone since the incident in December last year.

Representing Hilden, Stephen Piercy said the last six months had been “some sort of probation” for the animal.

Mr Piercy added it was “regrettable” that Hilden, who pleaded guilty to the offence, was not present when the incident took place.

District Judge Anthony Callaway accepted that Hilden had attempted to put safety control measures in place since the incident and said there was “no evidence” of any goading of the dog.

He ordered that Hilden muzzle Luke and keep the dog on a lead while in public.

Judge Callaway also ordered that the dog remain supervised by someone over the age of 16.

Alongside paying compensation to the jogger, Hilden was also ordered to pay £85 in court costs and a victim surcharge of £45.