Warning graphic image: ‘Dog attack left me too afraid to leave house’

Anthony Dickinson
Anthony Dickinson

A man has been jailed after a woman told how her life was ruined when a dog he was walking attacked her.

Black cross-breed Roxy jumped up at Joan Miller, 62, of Leyland, as she stepped out of work at Marks and Spencer in Preston city centre. It sank its teeth into her arm and knocked her to the floor, where she cracked her head.

Joan's injury from the bite

Joan's injury from the bite

But instead of stopping to help her, Anthony Dickinson, 49, led the dog away, leaving the helpless victim dazed and bleeding on the pavement.

Preston magistrates heard how the sudden attack on September 8 has “ruined” Mrs Miller’s life, leaving her permanently scarred and scared to leave the house.

In a victim impact read out to Preston Magistrates Court yesterday, she said: “I just want the persons involved, the man walking the dog and the woman, to be aware of how their irresponsible behaviour has ruined my life.

“The bite has left me scarred for life and will be a constant reminder of what I suffered that day. The bang to the head has left me with a constant headache but the psychological effects far outweigh this.

“I hope one day I will be able to close my eyes without reliving the attack as my nerves are in tatters and I’m too afraid to go out alone. Even a bark from a dog puts me on edge.

“I was shocked to be told you had not stopped to offer any assistance. I could not believe that you had total disregard for my welfare.”

Prosecutor Enza Geldard told the court: “As Miss Miller was walking out of the exit door, the dog jumped up and bit her arm, taking a large chunk out and causing her to fall on the floor and bang her head. The defendant and the female he was with carried on walking and didn’t make any attempt to stop.”

The court heard how mum-of-two Mrs Miller, 62, needed plastic surgery to repair the skin and may require a further two operations.

Dickinson, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to being in control of a dog dangerously out of control previously.

Defending him, Paolo Passerini said: “This is not Anthony Dickinson’s dog. On the day in question, he finds himself talking to a friend and momentarily she asks him to take the dog’s lead and he takes hold of it. He’s literally put the dog in his control for a couple of minutes and he had no idea this dog would behave in the manner it did.”

Sentencing Dickinson to 26 weeks in jail, chair of the bench Chandra Seetal said: “We can’t determine whether or not you attempted to regain control of this dog, but the ongoing effects on this victim and the location where the incident happened in a public place make it a serious incident.”

He must pay £180 criminal courts charge, a victim surcharge of £80 and £500 compensation to Mrs Miller. The dog will be destroyed.