Woman even afraid of dogs on TV after being bitten on face in street attack

The 64-year-old woman has been left with permanent scars after an XL Bully dog jumped up and bit her on the face.

A woman has been left frightened of dogs - even on TV - after being viciously savaged by one while walking down a street in Norris Green, Liverpool Magistrates Court has heard.

The XL Bully bitch was being walked on a lead by convicted criminal Jamie Cassidy when it suddenly jumped up and attacked the 64-year-old biting her on the face by her left eye.

Cassidy, who was on licence from prison, did not stick around to check on her injuries - as he only had four minutes to get to his nearby home because he was under a curfew with an electronic tag.

Judge District James Hatton told the 27-year-old  that he had just been trying to “save your own skin” and only contacted the police three days later when a CCTV image of him was emblazoned across the local press.

Cassidy, who was not legally represented, pleaded guilty to being the owner of a dangerously out of control dog which caused injury and told the judge that he was sorry.

But jailing him for eight months the judge told him: “You say you have expressed remorse, that remorse I do not accept as genuine.”

He said that the victim, described as vulnerable, had suffered significant injuries needing multiple stitches.

“There is evidence of ongoing psychological affects on her. She is afraid of dogs, even dogs on TV because of her distress and anxiety.”

CCTV image of the XL Bully dog being walked in West Derby.
CCTV image of the XL Bully dog being walked in West Derby.
CCTV image of the XL Bully dog being walked in West Derby.

Michael O’Kane, prosecuting, told Liverpool Magistrates Court that the incident happened about 7 pm on July 11 this year in Lower House Lane, Norris Green and he played CCTV footage from the scene.

Cassidy was seen walking the dog, Zula, to a shop and it was after he left and was distracted talking over his shoulder to two men standing by a car that the attack happened.

The victim was walking towards him and the dog suddenly leapt up and bit her on the face. She was injured over and below her left eye and on the chin, said Mr O’Kane.

Cassidy went back into the shop and members of the public helped the distressed woman and he left the scene. She was taken to Aintree Hospital - which she did not leave until 5 am the next day - and had stitches inserted and also had a tetanus injection.

“She was advised the scars are permanent,” said Mr O’Kane.

It was following a media appeal with CCTV footage that resulted in Cassidy attending for a voluntary interview.

The victim told how she is now nervous about dogs and also pointed out, “It could have been a baby, it could have been a pensioner who might not have survived.”

Cassidy, of Colesborne Road, Norris Green, told the court, “I’m willing to accept any punishment and I’m sorry.  I had to go because I was on curfew at the time and it was just before 7 pm.

Questioned by Judge Hatton the defendant said he had just four minutes to get home before his curfew but he had gone into the shop to buy milk for the baby and dog food, and told staff the woman was bleeding and needed help.

Judge Hatton ordered the destruction of the dog and banned Cassidy from owning a dog for ten years.