Page last updated at 14:32 GMT, Monday, 13 October 2008 15:32 UK

Victim shocked as dogs returned

Mary Briggs
Mrs Briggs says she suffers from panic attacks

A 60-year-old woman who suffered serious injuries in a dog attack has said she is shocked the animals have been returned to the owner.

Mary Briggs was attacked by two large white dogs, near to where she lived in Camberwell south-east London, in July.

Mrs Briggs spent three days in hospital and needed skin grafts after the dogs bit her arms, legs and thighs.

The dogs' owner Ronald Whyte appeared before magistrates and has been given a suspended 60-day jail sentence.

Recalling the attack Mrs Briggs said: "They [the dogs] were running around on their own, they came and attacked me.

I have suffered panic attacks when I leave my flat... I am looking for the dogs. I'm just terrified
Mary Briggs

"They pushed me to the ground and then the owner came around the corner and he tried to back them off because I was unable to, but they came back and attacked me."

Mrs Briggs was saved when passers-by dragged her away into a car.

She suffered injuries to her arms and near her ankles as she kicked and tried to protect her face.

Whyte was sentenced on 29 September at Tower Bridge Magistrates' Court where he pleaded guilty to being in charge of a dog that was out of control causing injury.

His sentence was suspended for a year and he was ordered to serve 50 hours community service and will be under supervision for six months.

He was also ordered to pay 1,000 compensation to Mrs Briggs.

The dogs were returned and Whyte was ordered to keep them in control, on the lead and muzzled.

'Panic attacks'

Mrs Briggs said she was shocked the dogs were allowed back in the estate.

"I feel very lucky that I did survive the attack. If it had been a child, that child wouldn't survive the attack," she said.

"And the dogs are now free to do that if they run amok."

She added: "I have suffered panic attacks when I leave my flat... I am looking for the dogs. I'm just terrified."

"I think everybody that lives in my block of flats and adjoining area are in danger as a result of him having those dogs."

Southwark council said: "The council will respond to any concerns or complaints about dogs on estates and treats these matters very seriously."




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