OAP living in fear after dog attack

A PENSIONER is living in fear after being mauled by her new neighbour’s bull terrier as she went to say hello.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 25th May 2012, 1:55 pm

Janet Forbes, 85, said she spent a month in hospital and had to undergo plastic surgery after the attack by the English bull terrier outside her home in Pilton left her with a “hole” in her leg. She now says she is too scared to leave the house in case she is attacked again.

But the dog’s owner today insisted her pet is “not a risk to anyone” and had only jumped up at the pensioner who then fell over.

Police investigated, but no charges were brought.

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Mrs Forbes believes her ordeal is not being treated seriously. She said: “I’m still suffering. The woman had just moved in and I was going to speak to her for the first time but she must have left her door open and the dog got out.

“The dog pulled me right out when I was standing at my door, it grabbed me by the trousers and then got a hold of my leg.

“The woman hauled the dog off me pretty damn quick.

“But it still just wanders about the place on its own – I’m scared to go out of my own house.

“It has to go. Something has got to be done. I was thinking I would have to go into a home because of this, but why should I?”

Mrs Forbes was taken to the Western General for treatment but was transferred to St John’s Hospital, Livingston, where she received skin grafts.

Her daughter Fiona Forsyth, 50, an admin clerk from Granton, said: “When I went round, she had a towel on it and it was covered in blood.

“A bit of flesh was hanging off her leg. Her leg actually had a hole in it.”

A police spokesman confirmed officers were called to Grierson Crescent in Pilton but no charges were brought.

It is understood that because dog involved had never attacked anyone before, police were unable to demonstrate that the animal was “dangerously out of control”.

The dog’s owner, Lorraine Mcgowan, told the Evening News: “There were no charges. He jumped up on her, she fell.

“He’s not a risk to anyone.”

Out of control

Under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, a dog classed as “dangerously out of control in a public place” may be destroyed and the owner can be fined and imprisoned for up to six months.

For such a charge to be brought, it needs to be demonstrated that the owner was well aware that the dog was capable of causing harm.

If a dog injures someone, the owner can be jailed for up to two years.

A dog is regarded as dangerously out of control if there are reasons to believe it will injure any person, whether or not it does so.