Dog owner jailed after woman left needing 40 stitches in horror attack outside pub

An owner whose dog left a woman needing 40 stitches after a horror attack in the street has been put behind bars.

Monday, 19th November 2018, 1:30 pm
Updated Monday, 19th November 2018, 1:34 pm
The attack happened outside of the Shoulder of Mutton pub

Paul Dees' Staffordshire terrier crossbreed "wouldn't stop" biting the woman and caused serious injuries across her body.

At Newcastle Crown Court a judge has ordered that the animal, which has been held in police kennels, must now be destroyed and Dees, 48, has been jailed for two years and banned from keeping dogs for ten years.

Paul Dees

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Prosecutor Jessica Slaughter told the court: "We say the defendant is not a fit and proper person to have custody of a dog.

"There is no alternative other than destruction of this dog."

The court heard just weeks after the attack, the animal called Cash, attacked another dog, called Archie, in the street.

Miss Slaughter said Dees, who will be sentenced by magistrates for the second attack, was seen "doing nothing" and a passer-by had to intervene.

The court heard Dees' animal is accused of attacking another dog on a field three years ago and had bit a small dog's neck just half an hour before it attacked the woman.

The dog also tried to bite a police officer who went to Dees' home to seize it.

The injured woman said there was "bloody everywhere" after she was viciously and repeatedly bitten by the Staffordshire terrier crossbreed outside the Shoulder of Mutton pub, in Shiney Row, last June.

She suffered bite marks and wounds to "various places on her body", including an arm, leg, buttock and torso and needed surgery in hospital after the attack by the animal.

Dees, of Glendale, Washington, was found guilty by a jury of being the owner of a dog that caused injury while out of control in a public place after a trial which ended last month.

Miss Slaughter told the court the woman had been involved in an altercation with another female outside the pub when the animal attacked.

Miss Slaughter said: "The dog bit her, she believes, about six times, causing injuries to various places on her body.

"This wasn't a short incident, it was sustained."

The court heard one witness who was present during the attack, which people tried to stop, said Dees was there but "can't recall him do anything or try and stop this happening".

After an initial "four to five minutes" attack, the court heard the dog appeared to calm down and ran to Dees, while shocked witnesses tried to help the injured woman.

But Miss Slaughter added: "The dog came flying back over and started to attack her again.

"Due to the assistance other people were able to provide the woman with, she was eventually able to get away and was carried to her home."

The court heard the injured was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital after the attack.

She had initially believed the dog would have been dealt with by the authorities but contacted the police when she saw Dees with the animal in the street a few weeks later.

The injured woman told the court during the trial: "The dog charged at me and got hold of my arm.

"It wouldn't stop biting me."

She said people initially managed to get the animal off her but it came back again.

She added: "I had flesh off my leg.

"I was ripped under my boob.

"There was blood everywhere.

"I had bite marks on my ear. My arm was the worst.

"At hospital I had surgery and needed 40 stitches."

In a victim statement, the woman said: "Since the incident I am terrified of dogs.

"The image of a dog going for my face is a constant image, one I don't think will ever go away."

The woman said she "still thinks about it all the time", has "horrendous" scars and said he self confidence has been destroyed.

Judge Edward Bindloss said the dog must be destroyed within 28 days.

The judge said: "She was covered in dog bites, 40 stitches were required.

"There were bites to her legs, buttocks, arms and breasts.

"She had to attend hospital on numerous appointments."

Penny Hall, defending, said Dees plans to appeal the magistrates court conviction and is trying to use his time in custody constructively.

Miss Hall said kennel staff have reported "no issues" with the animal since it has been in control of the police.

She added: "The dog has been handled by kennel employees and a vet and there has been no problems."