A UKIP member was attacked by a dog which leapt over a fence as he was handing out leaflets while canvassing for votes in today’s Washington East by-election.
The party’s Wearside branch chairman Richard Elvin was about to put a pamphlet into a post box in West Bridge Street, Mount Pleasant, when the black dog pounced.
“I took a leaflet out to pop into one of those metal post boxes which was about 6 foot tall,” the dad-of-two said. “I stood about six inches on to the person’s property.
“The next thing I knew, this black dog leapt over the wall and latched on to my arm and wouldn’t let go.”
The 65-year-old travel consultant was campaigning for UKIP candidate Alistair Baxter who is hoping to fill the vacancy left by Sunderland City councillor Neville Padgett, who resigned in October.
Mr Padgett had faced calls to step down after claiming £26,000 in expenses in just two years, some of which he has now been told to pay back.
Mr Elvin, who lives in Hetton with partner Kay Rowham, suffered a puncture wound and bruising to his upper arm after the dog bit through his Barbour jacket, which he says saved him from a more serious injury.
“I was shocked,” he said. “I didn’t expect it. I shook the dog off, then I went back to look over the wall and the dog had been taken into the house and the door was shut.
“I’ve had my finger ripped off before, but that was when pushing a leaflet through someone’s door but I never expected a dog would take off six foot into the air.”
Police are investigating the attack, which happened on Saturday afternoon.
Mr Elvin was treated by medics at Houghton Primary Care Centre and then discharged.
“They said it was a good job it wasn’t far more serious, and that my Barbour jacket saved me from a much more nasty injury,” he added.
A Northumbria Police spokeswoman said: “At 12.38pm on Saturday, December 6, police received a report that a man aged 65 had been bitten by a dog outside a house at West Bridge Street in Mount Pleasant. Inquiries are ongoing.”
l Also hoping to secure the vacant Washington East seat are; Hilary Johnson (Con), Tony Murphy (Green), Stephen O’Brien (LibDem) and Tony Taylor (Lab)