Pensioner suffered 21 wounds after dog attacked him

Hamilton Sheriff Court heard of dog attacks.
Hamilton Sheriff Court heard of dog attacks.

A pensioner suffered 21 separate wounds when he was mauled by a dog which had escaped from a garden by climbing a six-foot high fence.

Retired firefighter Thomas McIntyre told a court he was bitten repeatedly by the Staffordshire bull terrier as he tried to protect a tiny West Highland terrier he was walking.

His wife tried to stab the vicious dog with a Stanley knife and a nearby resident hit it with a hammer, but it continued to attack.

It was the second time in three months the Staffie called Blue had vaulted the fence and gone for another dog.

Owner Pearl Davie (55), of The Cuillins, Tannochside, was found guilty at Hamilton Sheriff Court of allowing the dog to be dangerously out of control in the street outside her home in June and September last year.

Neighbour Irene Boyle, a pensioner, said blood was ‘running down the street’ when the Staffie attacked Mr McIntyre.

The court heard Mrs Davie was at the hairdresser’s at the time and her husband, Graham, shrugged his shoulders as he watched helplessly, telling bystanders `I can’t do anything. I can`t do anything’.

Mrs Boyle said the dog, one of three owned by Davie, often appeared to be ‘difficult to control’ when it was being taken for a walk.

Mr McIntyre (73) said he and his wife, Rita, were walking their daughter’s two West Highland terriers when Blue escaped from the Davie garden and attacked one of them.

He said: “It had a vice-like grip of my dog’s leg. Rita was screaming for neighbours to come out. The Staffie kept snapping at me, catching my chin, jaw, elbows and palms of my hands.

“Rita was given a Stanley knife. She was straddling the Staffie and she made a couple of stabbing motions. A neighbour had a hammer and hit the dog with it, but it would not let go of my dog.

“It was only when a workman arrived and started strangling the Staffie with his bare hands that it opened its jaws and I managed get the West Highland terrier away.”

Mr McIntyre said he was treated at Monklands Hospital for his injuries.

The court heard the police were called, but before Blue could be caught it attacked a bulldog being walked a short distance away.

Davie later paid vets’ bills in respect of both injured dogs which amounted to more than £1,200.

The alsatian which was the victim of the first attack in June was not injured.

On that occasion Mrs Boyle’s husband, Leslie, was walking the alsatian - a neighbour’s dog - when Blue jumped over the fence and attacked it.

Mrs Boyle said Blue had its jaws ‘clamped around the throat’ of the alsatian. Pearl Davie came out and managed to prise open her dog’s jaws to let the alsatian escape.

Davie told the court she didn’t consider Blue to be aggressive, but she became concerned last year when he seemed to be ‘anxious in the presence of other dogs’.

She said after the first attack she had Blue examined by a dog psychologist and improved her garden fence to make it more secure.

Davie told her lawyer, Ali Murray: “I did everything in my power to make sure he would not get out. The police told me my garden was secure.”

Davie said Blue was put down after the September incident. She explained: “I could no longer guarantee the safety of other dogs. It was the responsible thing for an owner to do.”

After finding Davie guilty of two charges under the Dangerous Dogs Act, Sheriff Vincent Smith called for background reports on the first offender and deferred sentence for four weeks.

More from the court every week in the Times & Speaker, out on Wednesday.