Saturday, 7 Dec 2019

Woman allowed Staffordshire Terrier to maul Asian shopkeeper

Woman, 41, ‘allowed her Staffordshire Terrier’ Tyson to maul Asian shopkeeper during racist attack as she stole sweets and told his staff ‘go back to your own country’

  • Sonya Wadsworth let animal off the lead and encouraged it to bite Varun Ditta
  • His colleague had previously challenged her for shoplifting children’s sweets
  • Convicted of racially aggravated assault and racially aggravated harassment
  • Also guilty of having dog dangerously out of control, the magistrates ruled 

Sonya Wadsworth, 41, (pictured outside Manchester Magistrates’ Court yesterday) deliberately let her dog Tyson off the lead and encouraged it to bite Varun Ditta

A woman who allowed her Staffordshire Terrier to maul an Asian shopkeeper during a racist attack has been ordered to pay him £150 in compensation.

Sonya Wadsworth, 41, deliberately let her dog Tyson off the lead and encouraged it to bite Varun Ditta when she was confronted for putting children’s sweets in her coat pocket.

The animal sank its teeth into Mr Ditta’s thigh as Wadsworth laughed and said: ‘Haha you can’t do anything to me. My dog will bite you, P***. Go home.’

She also called him a ‘P*** b******,’ manhandled Mr Ditta’s work colleague and said: ‘What are you doing here? Go back to your own country.’

Mr Ditta was wearing thick jeans but suffered bite marks on his left leg as a result of the attack

Later when asked about the attack, Wadsworth from Wythenshawe, Manchester, claimed the animal was acting in ‘self-defence’ and added: ‘My dog was just scared at seeing his mummy assaulted.’

Tyson has died since the attack on August 28 last year.

At Manchester Magistrates’ Court, Wadsworth was also ordered to complete 300 hours unpaid work after being convicted of racially aggravated common assault, racially aggravated harassment and having a dog dangerously out of control.

She was also ordered to pay costs of £620.


The animal (right) sank its teeth into Mr Ditta’s thigh as Wadsworth (left) laughed and said: ‘Haha you can’t do anything to me. My dog will bite you, P***. Go home’

The incident happened at 3pm when Mr Ditta, known usually as Jimmy, and his colleague Mansoor Wahid who is nicknamed Max were working at the Around A Pound Plus store in Wythenshawe.

Mr Ditta said: ‘I was working at the back of the shop putting drinks on the shelves whilst Max was on the tills.

‘I started to hear Max and Sonya arguing with each other because she did some shoplifting.

‘When I heard this I came toward them and asked what happened but she was using abusive language to Max. She was saying ‘you are a P***. What are you doing here? Go back to your own country.’

‘Max was saying she had been shoplifting. He was saying she had to pay or put the items back but she was being aggressive.’

Wadsworth took sweets out of her pocket and threw them at Mr Wahid, according to Mr Ditta.

‘She was being very aggressive and using abusive words and calling us ‘P***s’,’ he said.

‘Max kept saying ‘stop this Sonya. I don’t need a fight with you. Just go home now’.’

Later when asked about the attack, Wadsworth from Wythenshawe, Manchester, claimed the the dog was acting in ‘self-defence’ and added: ‘My dog was just scared at seeing his mummy assaulted 

Mr Wahid then came around from behind the counter and Wadsworth grabbed him by the collar of his shirt.

‘She had a dog which was tied to a pole outside the shop and she unleashed it,’ he said. ‘The dog was definitely trained and she was holding the lead of the dog and using it as a weapon.

‘The dog was always very aggressive. When customers came into the shop they mentioned the dog being aggressive outside. It would bark at customers as they came in the shop.

‘This was a dangerous dog and it was making me and Max feel that it was about to attack. Sonya was laughing and encouraging the dog to bite me.

Tyson has died since the attack on August 28 last year

‘I think the dog was trained and letting it go and then pulling it back by the lead then letting it go again meant ‘go and bite him’.’

He continued: ‘The dog bit me on the left thigh. I was wearing thick jeans and I’ve still got a deep bite mark from it. I was outside the shop asking her to go home. She was drunk that day and I just wanted her to leave.

‘She was laughing ‘Haha, you can’t do anything to me my dog will bite you – P*** go home’. I was just thinking ‘why is she doing this?’ It made me upset and fearful.’

Wadsworth denied wrongdoing. A probation report read to the court said: ‘She has occupied her time since this incident in terms of her doing a lot of voluntary work.

‘She spoke of setting up a gardening business, attending college and completing a plumbing and gas qualification.’

Defence lawyer Nnamdi Inegbo said in mitigation: ‘Sonya still finds it difficult even at this late stage to accept your colleagues findings but never the less she will respect and appreciate the predicament she finds herself in.

‘The dog is no longer with us. I believe it had a brain tumour therefore it was felt to put him out of pain was in everyone’s best interest and it was put to sleep.

‘She is now using her time productively using her time to engage with community with volunteer work. There’s another side to Sonya.

‘She would say the dog was acting somewhat strangely leading up to what happened.

‘Ultimately she did not have full control as much as she would have liked with the dog.’

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