Liverpool

Formby 'giant' dog attack: Victims scarred for life

Frousella Tirimou Image copyright Lynda Roughley
Image caption Frousella Tirimou, 46, pleaded guilty to being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control causing injury

Two people were scarred for life when a "giant" dog escaped from a garden and "went wild" as it attacked them.

The 90kg (14st 2lb) Caucasian Shepherd, about 6ft (1.8m) tall when on its hind legs, injured three other people in Formby in December, Liverpool Crown Court heard.

Two-year-old Simba got out through an unbolted gate at its owner's Liverpool Road home, the court was told.

Owner Frousella Tirimou, 46, pleaded guilty during the hearing.

Tirimou admitted being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control causing injury.

She was given a 12 month community sentence and ordered to pay the victims £1,750 in compensation.

'Bared teeth'

The court heard Tirimou told police she had been jet washing animal cages on 13 December and had not realised the gate was insecure.

Simba jumped at neighbour Stephen Herdman and tried to bite his face. But Mr Herdman pushed it away as it ran across Liverpool Road towards the Royal Hotel.

Nicola Jackson, who was outside painting with her husband Andrew, stopped traffic and tried to coax the animal home, the court heard.

Tirimou also came out and tried to control the dog.

But then it "went wild, bared its teeth and was fighting with [Tirimou] leading to it breaking free", Mrs Jackson said.

Simba then pushed her into a garden and bit her arm.

"A witness described seeing the dog standing on its hind legs," the prosecution told the court.

"[Mrs Jackson's] screaming alerted her husband... he ran across the road… he could see the dog on its back legs with her arm in its mouth."

Mr Jackson, 55, "rugby tackled" the dog but it broke his glasses, cut his eyelid and bit his hand. He also twisted his knee.

The dog then attacked the couple's daughter Hannah, 22, biting her on the elbow.

'Post-traumatic stress'

Another woman, Susan Mathias, was bitten on her arm.

Tirimou tried to lure the dog home with bacon but it also bit her hand.

Mrs Jackson, 51, and her daughter have been left permanently scarred and have since moved away.

Tirimou has not returned to work since the injury and has put her house up for sale, Andrew McInnes, defending, said.

"She accepts it is a serious case, clearly a frightening incident for the victims and those watching. She has always regretted the injuries caused," Mr McInnes said.

"It has affected her mental and physical health… she may now be suffering from post traumatic stress disorder."

There was no evidence the dog, which was later destroyed, had ever been aggressive to anyone before, the court heard.

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