Leane Gane had worked for the Royal Mail for nine years before being attacked by a Staffordshire Bull Terrier when delivering mail in Longwell Green, Bristol last year. The bite was so ferocious that it bit through into the bone and required an emergency 3 hour operation. Leane was off work for 5 weeks and and continues to struggle to deal with household tasks due to damage to her tendons and continues to require treatment. The dog’s owner Ross Wicks was cleared by a jury of being in charge of a dog which caused injury while dangerously out of control in a public place. Whether or not he was responisble came down to whether or not the attack took place in the his garden which was private property or the pavement which was a public place.

The difference was important as currently the wording of the Dangerous Dogs Act is such that it will not lead to a criminal prosecution if the attack took place on private property. The law is due to change before 2016 to cover such attacks but Mrs Gane believes actions needs ot be taken straight away. She told reporters: “The law needs to be changed. It should not be a case of where you are attacked but the fact that you were attacked – there should be no grey area. If a dog attacks you without provocation and causes serious injury the owner should be prosecuted and dog destroyed.” Mr Wicks was sympathetic for what Mrs Gane’s had been through and said he wished it had not happened. James McNally of Slee Blackwell solicitor’s who specialises in dog bite claims says: “It is clear that the current law is insuffient in dealing with dog attacks. The proposed changes are a step in the right direction but are no way near enough and that it could take 3 years before they are in place is an unwelcome delay.

It is unfortunate that the emphasis is also only punishment rather than more preventative measures. The government should be looking at ways to stop dog attacks in the first place not how to punish the dog owners.” “In additon many dog bite victims are left in a position where they are advised by the police that this is a civil matter. However a civil claim is only worth pursuing if the dog owner has insurance and at the moment insurance isn’t compulsory and so it is only conciencious dog owners who have it. Victims of dog attacks are therefore left with a feeling that the owners have got away with it and in some cases that is exactly what has happened.”

If you have been a victim of a dog attack and wish for further information on bringing a claim please contact us by phone or email.

Law needs changing now says savaged postwoman
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