A Staffordshire bull terrier that attacked two police horses in Chelmsford has won a reprieve from death row.

Tyson had faced being put down, but the death penalty has been lifted by Chelmsford magistrates.

However, if conditions imposed by the magistrates are not complied with, he could still end up being put down.

Magistrates have ruled Tyson must remain muzzled and under control on a lead when he is in public. He must also be neutered. His owner has been ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work and pay £250 compensation to the Essex Mounted Unit.

Magistrates imposed a “contingent destruction order,” under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

Tyson’s owner, Samantha Simmons, 33, of Eves Crescent, Chelmsford, had admitted having a dog that was dangerously out of control.

At a previous hearing, chairman of the bench, Bob Davies, said the incident was clearly serious and there had been “significant injuries to the horses”.

Their riders had also been thrown in the vicinity of a school at a difficult time of day.

One of the horses, Biscuit, suffered cuts requiring stitches and the other, Bella, also required treatment.

Prosecutor Denise Holland told the court the incident occurred on January 12 this year in the Broomfield area.