Man needed surgery to reattach thumb after brutal attack by neighbour’s dog

Demi Benbow’s American bulldog Buster escaped from her property and attacked the man and his dog in Stoke-on-Trent – he was left hospitalised and needed surgery to reattach his thumb

Demi Benbow’s American bulldog had escaped from her home

A woman has been fined after her dog attacked a neighbour and left him hospitalised with serious injuries.

Demi Benbow’s American bulldog Buster escaped from her property in Stoke-on-Trent and attacked another dog being walked by its owner on March 13.

As the owner tried to separate the animals, he was badly bitten.

The attack left the man in hospital for six days and he had surgery on both hands, StokeonTrentLive reports.

Ms Benbow’s dog Buster has since been put down, magistrates at North Staffordshire Justice Centre heard.

Prosecutor Karen Wright said: “It was 6pm and the victim left his address to walk his 11-year-old Siberian husky, Ice, on a lead. He walked past the defendant’s address on Catharine Road and noticed the bulldog Buster in the garden.

“That dog left the property through an insecure gate and attacked his dog. The victim tried to stop the dog from hurting his dog by using his free hand to try to part them.

The attack left the victim in hospital for six days and he had surgery on both hands


Pete Stonier / Stoke Sentinel)

“He was bitten to the thumb. It was a quite nasty injury. He let go of his own dog’s lead and tried to punch the bulldog to the face. He was shouting and screaming.

“Neighbours heard the commotion and came outside. The bulldog was put back inside the owner’s property. Miss Benbow came out and tried to help. She administered first aid to the injured party.”

The court heard tensions were high and Ms Benbow made a 999 call to report what had happened.

Of the victim, the prosector said: “He had to have his thumb reattached and has been told it may have to be removed. On his other hand, he has had four surgeries to reattach the tendons on his palm.”

Ms Benbow pleaded guilty to being the owner of a dog dangerously out of control causing injury. She was fined £244 and ordered to pay an additional £219 in court costs and charges.

David Houldcroft, mitigating, said Ms Benbow’s young son had left the front door and gate open, leading to the dog’s escape.

He said: “She hasn’t really done a great deal wrong. The only thing you can criticise her for is allowing her son to open the door and gate, but it is difficult to keep your eye on children all the time, as many of us know.

“They acquired the dog as a family pet during the first lockdown. The dog had never attacked anyone before. It was not, on the face of it, an aggressive dog, it was scared of other dogs. This incident came out of the blue.

“She has taken full responsibility for what happened.”

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