Postman bitten by Rottweiler

COUNCILLORS in Londonderry are to decide whether to prosecute the owner of a dog that bit a postal delivery officer in Caw after apparently letting itself out by the front door.

According to a report prepared by Derry City Council's senior environmental health officer, the postman had to be treated in hospital after the attack, and was only spared further injury when the dog turned its attention on another dog.

The official report given to councillors ahead of a meeting of the environment services committee tomorrow (Thursday) says: "On Thursday 3rd December 2009 at around 10.45am a local postal delivery officer was delivering mail in the Caw Hill Park area. The delivery officer had delivered mail to a dwelling in Caw Hill Park when he alleges a Rottweiler dog attacked him on the public footpath. The delivery officer indicated that he was able to escape further attack when the Rottweiler's attention was drawn to another dog and he fled into the garden of a neighbouring dwelling. The officer indicated that he sustained an injury to his arm that required hospital attention.

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"Investigations were carried it out and it was discovered that a Rottweiler dog is licensed to a local resident of Caw Hill Park. At the time of this incident the owner of the dog was not at home and the dog was left in the charge of the registered owner's husband. In a PACE interview on the 2nd March 2010 the owner's husband indicated that he had not seen an attack on any postman but did confirm that he did see the Rottweiler dog under his charge in a fight with another dog around this time. He indicated that his dog was able to get out of the house as the dog itself had opened the front door.

"There has been no history of complaint about the Rottweiler dog involved in this incident and there appears to have been no other witnesses to the attack on the postal delivery officer. As the attack took place on a public footpath the attack may be considered an aggravated offence."

Due to the serious nature of this incident it was recommended that legal proceedings be instigated against the person in charge of the dog at the time of this incident for the following offences:

Dogs (NI) Order 1983 - Article 29(1A) offence for a dog to attack any person

• Dogs (NI) Order 1983 - Article 22(1) offence for a dog to stray