Bathgate dog attack: Woman shocked by no charges after sister 'left disfigured'

A woman said she is shocked no charges have been brought after her sister was attacked by a dog, leaving her with serious injuries to her face and neck.

By Katharine Hay
Saturday, 10th July 2021, 11:16 am

WARNING: The pictures in this article contain graphic content

Nicola Fleming was outside Scotmid in Elizabeth Drive, Bathgate, when she was mauled by a dog on Tuesday, 29 June.

She was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary with serious injuries to her face and neck which it is said will leave her permanently disfigured.

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Later that same day, the dog – a Staffordshire Bull Terrier – is understood to have attacked its owner, who also had to be taken to the same hospital for treatment.

Nicola’s sister, Maria Fleming, said she is shocked the dog’s owner – whose name has not been given – has not been charged following the incident that left her sister with multiple stitches in her neck.

Speaking to Edinburgh Evening News she said: “Police contacted me to say no charges have been be brought because Nicola was holding the dog on a lead while its owner was in the shop, so there was nothing they could do as the dog wasn’t running about.

"I am shocked at that response.”

Nicola Fleming was left with serious injuries to her face and neck following the dog attack.

The owner of the dog is known to the two sisters, but Maria said he “walked away as though nothing happened” after it attacked Nicola.

"It’s very distressing for her [Nicola] to know that he just walked away with his dog and didn’t look back,” Maria added.

“The injuries are horrific.

"Nicola is going to be permanently disfigured on her face and neck.

Nicola was discharged from hospital three days after the attack.

"It’s a scary world we live in now when this is allowed to happen – No charges, no bans, nothing.”

Maria sent a photo to Edinburgh Evening News showing just one of her sister’s injuries.

She said her sister was in hospital for three days after the attack before she was well enough to be discharged.

A taxi driver from Alba Private Hire was driving past the shop when the dog went for Nicola.

A spokesperson for the taxi firm said the driver leapt out of of his vehicle to pull the dog off Nicola, but in doing so he left the handbrake off and the car rolled down the street and crashed into a nearby bus stop.

The vehicle is a write-off, but the firm praised the driver for his “heroic” actions.

A police spokesman confirmed officers were called to a report of a woman being bitten by a dog in Elizabeth Drive, Bathgate, at about 12.15pm on 29 June, and that she was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary to be treated for her injuries.

He also confirmed that a man was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary after being bitten by a dog in a property in the evening of 29 June in the same street where Nicola was attacked, adding, “no criminality has been established.”

It is understood the dog was put down on Monday.

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