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Monday, 27 May, 2002, 20:50 GMT 21:50 UK
Girl savaged in new dog attack
Nicki Hughes
Nicki Hughes was bitten on her face and arms
A ten-year-old girl from Wolverhampton has been savaged by a dog while playing with a friend near her home.

It is the second dog attack in the city in 11 days.

Nicki Hughes, from Hilton Street, Park Village, was attacked by a rottweiler as she played hide-and-seek.

The dog initially licked the youngster but when she fell to the ground the animal became violent.

'Vicious' attack

The dog then turned on her friend who came to help.

"The dog got vicious and started biting me everywhere," said Nicki.

"It ripped my hair out and I've got a scratch on my head."

Her father, Alan, said Nicki's friend, Rosanna Haughton, 13, saved his daughter.

"From what the girls tell me the owner just panicked," he said.

The scene near to where the attack took place
The dog may have escaped from its owner's home
"It was left to Rosanna to save Nicki.

"The dog tried to get to her throat and it was Rosanna's brave actions that stopped it getting to her throat.

"The holes on Nicki's head and arms are large, deep holes and the one on her arm is massive and really deep and they're talking about skin grafts or plastic surgery."

It is believed that the dog, which has now been destroyed, had escaped from its owner.

A witness to the attack, Gary Anderson, said there had been problems with dogs in the area for months.

'Stable' condition

People were scared to come out of their homes at night and several people had even phoned the police, he said.

Nicki was taken to New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton, and treated for bite injuries to her arm and face.

She is expected to undergo a skin graft on Tuesday.

The attack, which took place on Sunday, comes after five-year-old Leah Preston, also from Wolverhampton, was mauled by two bull mastiff cross-breeds 11 days ago.

A police spokesman told BBC News Online: "We are investigating the possibility of that the dog was out of control in a public place and our inquiries are continuing."

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Nicki's father Alan Hughes
"The dog tried to get to her throat"

Click here to go to BBC Birmingham Online
See also:

23 May 02 | England
21 May 02 | England
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