Woman savaged in her front yard

A woman needed surgery and 20 stitches after a neighbour’s dog jumped the fence and tore into her leg in her own front yard.

Three days after the attack at a Barrington Street property, the American Bulldog, Chase, was taken to a veterinarian’s surgery and euthanised.

The neighbour, Shaun Leonard Dennis, 38, has admitted a charge of owning a dog that caused serious injury.

Christchurch District Court Judge Tony Couch said: “This is a serious example of this type of offence. Clearly, the victim was seriously injured.”

He remanded Dennis on bail for sentencing on August 3, with a probation assessment of his suitability for home or community detention.

The case will also be referred for a possible restorative justice meeting where he will have a chance to apologise to the woman who was injured.

Christchurch City Council prosecutor Heather McKenzie said the incident happened about 5.30pm on May 1, 2017, as the woman arrived home from work.

As she went across her front lawn area, the four-year-old tan and white dog started barking and then jumped the waist-high fence from Dennis’ yard.

The dog ran at her, bit on her right calf, just below her knee and started shaking violently, tearing into her. The woman dropped the bag of groceries she was carrying and began screaming.

She tried to grab the dog’s collar to get him away but he latched onto her left leg, throwing his head around and tearing into her.

Dennis jumped the fence and chased the dog away. He grabbed the dog and threw him over the fence, but the dog jumped back. Dennis then put him back over the fence.

Dennis then helped the woman into the house where her husband phoned for an ambulance.

The woman had surgery, required 20 stitches, and was off work for more than two weeks.

When he was interviewed the day after the attack, Dennis admitted Chase had attacked the woman, but he was unwilling to surrender the dog. He took the dog to the local vet to be put down on May 4.

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