A PENSIONER has been left drinking through a straw after a normally ‘lovely’ dog lunged for him - ‘ripping flesh from his mouth’.
Albert Churchman was left needing reconstruction surgery to his face after being attacked by lurcher cross Bobby in Radmore Lane, Abbots Bromley, on March 15.
Dawn Pietrzak admitted being the owner of a dog allowed to be dangerously out of control in a public place and which caused injury when she appeared before Burton Magistrates’ Court.
Andrew Bodger, prosecuting, said Mr Churchman had been admiring Pietrzak’s flowers with his daughter Deborah Bennett when she stopped with Bobby and they had a conversation.
As Mr Churchman stood up and turned to face the 44-year-old, Bobby, who was on a lead, pounced on him and locked his jaws around the victim’s mouth.
Pietrzak managed to get the pooch back in the house and drove Mr Churchman back to his daughter’s home.
In police interview, Pietrzak said she was ‘mortified’ by the incident and said she had owned Bobby for 10 years and he normally had a ‘lovely temperament’.
She said he had never been aggressive with people but didn’t like other dogs, adding there was no warning signs that he was going to attack.
As a result of the attack, the 69-year-old had four puncture wounds, 32 stitches, loss of muscle, tissue and saliva glands and damage to his nerves.
He also has permanent numbness meaning he has to drink through a straw and doctors said he may never recover from his injuries.
Mark Aspden, defending, said: “This is every dog owner’s worst nightmare. She has three daughter’s who have grown up with Bobby and has never had any problems with friends at the house or any incidents.
“She was mortified at the time and explained to the police she was in shock. She feels extremely sorry for Mr Churchman but is very grateful the prosecution is not to seeking to destroy the dog.
“She has an unblemished character and I don’t think she could have done anything about this incident. My client has already brought a muzzle for the dog and is walking him away from other people.”
Magistrates fined Pietrzak £180 with £85 court costs and £20 victim surcharge.
They also put a contingent destruction order in place, meaning Bobby will be destroyed if he is seen in a public place without wearing a muzzle and a lead.