Woman's horror as escaped dog rips off part of her finger

Woman's horror as escaped dog rips off part of her finger

Injured Jack Russell Tilly who was later put down

Jack Russell Jim recovers from his injuries

Sean Stockton leaving Bolton Crown Court

First published in News
Last updated
The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , crime reporter

THE victim of a savage dog attack has spoken of the moment part of her finger was ripped off by an escaped Akita.

Sally-Anne Skellern, aged 39, was bitten by one of two escaped Akita dogs after going to the rescue of her friends’ two Jack Russells, Tilly and Jim.

They had been let out into a yard at Reeves Hall Farm in Dodd Lane, Westhoughton.

The Akita dogs had escaped from neighbour Sean Stockton’s Aldreds Farm, in Jacks Lane, Westhoughton.

Ms Skellern had been visiting friends when the incident took place just after 9pm on September 20, last year.

She said: “It was really shocking. We knew the dogs were out and we had brought the horses in. It happened very quickly. The Akitas were snarling and growling. One had Tilly in its mouth. Jim was bleeding all over.

“I didn’t know what to do but sometimes your instinct tells you to do something. I bent down to help the Jack Russell and got bitten on the end of my finger. One of the Akita dogs took the top of my finger off.

“We were very lucky people weren’t seriously hurt. I have never seen anything so vicious.”

Her wound has since heeled but she said she still feels numbness and had to have a tetanus injection.

Tilly appeared lifeless after the incident and spent a week at the vets before she had to be put down.

Jim has been left scarred “emotionally and physically” by the attack.

Ms Skellern said: “The Jack Russells were both bitten. Jim has quite a lot of scarring still. Tilly’s injuries were awful. My friend’s husband had to pick her up as her stomach was started to swell.

It is a worry every day for my friend as she has livestock. It is not nice always worrying what will happen.”

She was relieved builder Stockton, aged 48, pleaded guilty to being the owner of a dog dangerously out of control in a public place which caused injury on the day of trial, saving her and other witnesses from giving evidence at Bolton Crown Court.

Stockton, who has previously served a “fairly significant” jail term for an unrelated crime, was fined £200 by Judge Elliot Knopf last week.

He was ordered to pay £400 towards the prosecution costs and £250 compensation to Ms Skellern.

Judge Knopf did not order the destruction of the dogs as it was not known which Akita bit Ms Skellern. Stockton was not banned from keeping animals.

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