Dog attack victim Anna Robinson with her spaniel
A terrified mother mauled by a seven-stone doberman says she feared it would tear her throat out.
Anna Robinson, 39, told a court how the dog sank its teeth into her legs and dragged her to the ground – as its university lecturer owner insisted: "He's only playing with you."
The harrowing account of the attack in Chartham was heard by Canterbury magistrates at the trial of Dr Sharon Money, who denied allowing her doberman Blitzen to be dangerously out of control.
But the 53-year-old, who lost her job because of the pending prosecution, was found guilty by the three-strong bench.
The court was told the attack happened in a field off Baker's Wood, where Money and Miss Robinson would sometimes see each other while walking their dogs.
Fighting back tears in the witness box, Miss Robinson, of Bakers Lane, Chartham, said: "Her dogs were off their leads and I let mine off and went over.
"I said it was unusual to see both her dogs out and commented on how big the male was. It was just general chitchat.
"The big dog kept running up and barging into me. I started to feel very uncomfortable and walked away.
"It then ran after me and bit me on the thigh. I threw the plastic ball catcher I was holding at it, which snapped.
"She said, 'thank you, he needs to be told off'. She said nothing to her dog. I was in a state of panic at that point. The dog continued to circle us and I ran towards Dr Money because I wanted some protection.
"There was nowhere else to go. I stood behind with my hands on her shoulders and she said 'he's only playing with you'.
"I think I was saying, 'please control your dog'. Then it came round behind me and took a massive bite out of my left thigh.
"I realised I wasn't getting any protection from Dr Money so I ran down the field. I was running and screaming and she made no attempt to control her dog."
Anna Robinson’s torn jacket after being attacked by the doberman
The bite mark on Anna Robinson’s left leg
The bite mark on Anna Robinson’s right thigh
Miss Robinson wept as she described how the doberman then chased her and jumped on her back, dragging her to the ground by her coat.
She said: "I was screaming, 'get him off me'. I thought he was going to tear my throat out and I would die."
The attack only ended after Money forced her fingers into the dog's mouth to get it to release and then got him on a lead.
Miss Robinson, who had been walking her spaniel Flash, said: "Dr Money was saying 'please don't call the police – I'll pay for any damage'."
Dr Sharon Money arriving at Canterbury Magistrates’ Court
The court was shown pictures of the bite marks and puncture wounds to the legs of Miss Robinson, who had to have a tetanus jab following the attack.
She went to Money's house with police and identified Blitzen as the dog who had bitten her, a fact accepted by the defendant.
Money, of Woodside Avenue, Chartham, claimed the dog was trying to protect her.
She insisted Blitzen was not aggressive or dangerous, saying in a police statement: "He jumped up, but was definitely trying to get the ball catcher.
"She was hysterical and he got hold of her coat. I guess he thought she was trying to attack me.
"He was not out of control, but I was being prevented from putting him on his lead by Miss Robinson grabbing and clinging on to me."
She admitted Blitzen was boisterous, but in a friendly way – a claim supported by another dog walker, Alan Lawrence.
She added claims the dog had bitten Miss Robinson before she started clinging to her were "false".
Pat Cuffe, defending, said to magistrates: “Miss Robinson was hysterical and is it not likely that Blitzen acted in a protective way, and in those circumstances it doesn't make him out of control or dangerous."
He said Money had been traumatised by the ordeal of coming to court.
The case was heard at Canterbury Magistrates' Court
Mr Cuffe added: "She has maintained her innocence and the verdict is a terrible blow and she is devastated.
"She has lost her job as a result of the pending prosecution and it has been a very salutary and embarrassing experience.
"She has lost her job as a result of the pending prosecution and it has been a very salutary and embarrassing experience..." - Pat Cuffe, defending
"It is the first time the dog has bitten anyone and she has bought a muzzle and the dog will not go out unleashed.
"Her husband has multiple sclerosis and I ask the court for a measure of leniency and consideration of a conditional discharge."
Passing sentence chairman David Griffiths said the bench had considered the culpability of Money relatively low, but the resulting injury high.
He ordered her to do 50 hours' unpaid work and pay £500 compensation for Miss Robinson’s injuries, £95 for damage to her clothes, £350 prosecution costs and a £60 victim surcharge.
He also said the dog must be kept on a lead and muzzled when in public places.
Miss Robinson says she will donate £100 of the compensation to Victim Support and £50 to the Dogs Trust.
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