THE owner of a dangerous dog that bit three people in Settle has been told she is facing a possible prison sentence.

Melissa Thorp's dog 'Blu' bit one man while he was walking through Riverside Park and a ticket collector on the Settle to Skipton train, both times breaking the skin, heard Skipton Magistrates Court today (Friday).

The dog, a Belgian Malinois bitch also bit a woman as she was walking towards Booth's supermarket in December last year, but on that occasion, there was no injury.

The court heard Thorp, 49,  had also received a caution in August, 2022, by police and advised to muzzle the dog when out after it had bitten a child.

Mel Ibbotson, prosecuting, told the court that a man was walking in the riverside park off Langcliffe Road on June 1 last year when Blu ran up to him barking and growling. The dog 'lunged' up at the man, biting his right thigh and piercing the skin. The man went to hospital and was given anti-biotics. He later saw Thorp who apologised to him, said Ms Ibbotson.

On September 10 last year Thorp was on the Skipton to Settle train when Blu, who was under a table, bit a rail worker on the shin as he asked to see Thorp's ticket. Ms Ibbotson said the man felt a sharp pain on his shin, and again, Thorp apologised.

A third incident happened on December 7 last year when Blu lunged towards a woman as she was walking towards Booth's Supermarket; but no injury was caused.

Magistrates were shown images of the injuries caused to the men where the skin had been broken.

Thorp, of Mill Close, Settle, admitted two charges of being the owner of a dog dangerously out of control causing injury, and one charge of being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control, with no injury.

Mitigating, Julian White said Thorp's main concern was for the dog, which she had had for three years and was now in police kennels.

He said following the police caution in 2022, she had muzzled the dog, it was always on a lead and she also had a large harness bearing the warning 'do not touch'.

Mr White described Thorp as a 'vulnerable lady who had had a torrid life with all sorts of difficulties'.

He said she brought the dog because she lived alone, but it was regularly in the company of small children.

"She does not want the dog to be destroyed," he said.

Magistrates adjourned sentencing for an all options report, including custody, to Harrogate Magistrates Court on February 22.