Man ‘ran for his life’ after attack over ownership of dog

Luton Crown Court
Luton Crown Court

A man who beat his victim with a wheel brace in a row over who owned a Staffordshire Bull terrier called ‘Chaos’ has been jailed for five years.

Craig Hatto, 28, launched the attack on Lewis Law, who had snatched the dog from his home in Arlesey.

Mr Law, 22, told Luton Crown Court Hatto had been hiding in a bush in Luton Road, Caddington waiting to attack him.

He said: “He hit me roughly ten times. He hit me all over.

“I felt something pop inside me. I thought I was going to die. I got up and ran for my life.”

Mr Law said he ended up on the bonnet of a car, before running to a friend’s house. When he got no reply, he said he jumped over the garden and into an old people’s home.

Asked what Craig Hatto was doing, he said: “He was screaming abuse – raging. It was about a dog – my dog and my mum’s dog, Chaos.”

He said Hatto, who was with another man, drove off in a red Polo after telling him: “I will be back for the dog.”

Mr Law said he went to his home in Hyde Road. His mother drove him to the Luton and Dunstable Hospital, where he was treated for three to four days.

Mr Hatto, of Carters Walk, Arlesey denied causing Lewis Law grievous bodily harm with intent at around 6pm in the evening on June 29 last year and possessing an offensive weapon – a wheel brace – on the same day. He was convicted of both charges by a jury of six men and six women on Wednesday.

Prosecutor Max Hardy said that Mr Law and Craig Hatto had been ‘kind of step-brothers.’ Mr Law’s mother Sue and the defendant’s father Ian had been in a relationship that ended earlier in 2015.

On the day of the attack, the police had received a call from Carters Walk in Arlesey to say that Chaos had been taken.

ANPR images put the red VW Polo, Mr Hatto’s girlfriend’s car, on the westbound A505 at 5.31pm. The car was seen on the eastbound carriageway at 6.35pm.

Under cross-examination by David Smithet, defending, he admitted he had been to Arlesey and took the dog.

Hatto said: “I didn’t need to ask to take my dog. He has been at my house since he was a pup and he got stolen from my house.”