Dog tore lump of flesh out of victim, court hears

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court

A criminal’s bull mastiff cross left a woman emotionally scarred and needing skin grafts after it escaped from a Nelson property and attacked her, a court heard.

The dog, belonging to Paul Norwood (30), was being looked after by pensioner John Porzucek, when it apparently scaled a back gate and sank its teeth into defenceless Aziz Begum’s arm and leg.

The animal tore a lump of flesh measuring seven by four centimetres, from the victim’s arm, affecting her ability to use her hand and inflicted puncture wounds on her leg.

Burnley Magistrates’ Court heard how police said there had not been any reports of previous issues or problems with the dog, Maximus, but the animal could now be facing a destruction order.

Norwood, then of Thursby Road, Nelson, but now of Vulcan Street, Nelson, admitted being the owner of a dog which was dangerously out of control in Thursby Road, on August 2nd. He also admitted the theft of three bottles of whisky worth £65 from Booths in Barrowford, on October 3rd.

His co-defendant Porzucek (68), of Thursby Road, pleaded guilty to being in charge of the dog.

They will be sentenced in December after District Judge Duncan Birrell asked for more information on Mrs Begum’s injuries and for further details about the dog’s behaviour while it is been in kennels since the attack.

Prosecutor Miss Charlotte Crane told the court the victim was walking past the house when the dog appeared to scale a back gate and bite her.

She said: “There is no suggestion it was wandering the streets.”

Miss Crane said Mrs Begum was still under the care of the health services and had weakness in her hand picking things up.

She added: “She says she is scared of walking around alone. On this particular day, she was simply walking down the street when she was set about by this dog.

“It’s obviously left her with emotional scarring as well as visible scarring.”

Porzucek had no previous convictions. Norwood had 23 offences in his record, including violence.

Mr Nick Dearing (defending Norwood) said the defendant wanted to save his dog from destruction if at all possible.