A Templeton pensioner will spend the festive season in prison after her dog bit a police officer who arrested her for a string of nuisance 999 calls.

Ann Gateley, 72, was sentenced to 25 weeks in prison after appearing from custody at Haverfordwest magistrates court on Tuesday, December 18.

Gateley, of Little Chapel Hill, Cold Blow, pleaded guilty to owning a black Labrador which injured a police officer while being dangerously out of control on December 16.

She also admitted making eight false 999 calls between December 1 and 16, to cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety.

Gateley told the court she had made the calls to the police and ambulance service because she suffered from arthritis in her knees and could not get off the floor after a fall.

“They are not nuisance calls.”

Prosecutor Sian Vaughan said assistance was declined when the officers went to Gateley’s home.

“There is no need to call 999 unless it’s an emergency.”

She added that Gateley became agitated and had to be picked up to be taken out of the property.

“The dog got agitated and bit the officer on two occasions. He had a puncture wound to his calf.”

Miss Vaughan said Gateley’s behaviour had caused the dog to become upset, and it had bitten the officer in an attempt to protect its owner.

The court heard that Gateley was subject to a suspended prison sentence for a similar offence.

Mike Kelleher, defending, said Gateley was lifted from her bed to be taken to the police vehicle, and had believed that her dog was in her bedroom.

“With so many officers being there and doors being left open, the dogs obviously came out and as far as they were concerned, all they saw was their owner being carried out and in distress.

“It’s very difficult to control animals while under arrest. She has apologised to the officer, who has been to her property on many occasions.”

He added: “The dog is a big dog, but it’s not a 'biting' dog.”

“The incident involving the dog is perhaps understandable from the dog’s perspective.”

Mr Kelleher told the court that Gateley was unable to get off the floor when her knees gave way, and needed assistance to get up, but was having physiotherapy to address this.

“Some of these calls are for a genuine reason.”

The bench heard that Gateley was receiving support for alcohol issues.

Magistrates activated 10 weeks of Gateley’s suspended sentence and imposed a further 15 weeks in custody.

An order was made that her dog must be kept under control, and she was fined £440 and ordered to pay £200 compensation to the officer, £85 court costs and a £115 surcharge.