Woman suffers nightmares after Norwich dog attack puts her in hospital

Lauren Cope lauren.cope@archant.co.uk
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
10:57 AM

A disabled woman who was left in hospital after she was attacked by a bull mastiff has described how she suffers nightmares over the “traumatic” ordeal – in the latest of a series of similar attacks in Norfolk.

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Helen Carpenter, who lives on Horsford Street, was at the corner shop on Heigham Street when the dog, which was not on a lead, began growling and ran towards her.

The 40-year-old, who is 4ft 10in tall and has a partially paralysed right leg after a car accident 12 years ago, said when the dog launched itself at her she collapsed.

Mrs Carpenter said: “It showed its teeth to me and then started snarling and run towards me.

“The adrenaline kicked in and I thought the worst thing to do would be to run so I just stepped back.

“I’m so glad I fell over where I did because there are so many cars around that area,” she said.

Mrs Carpenter lost consciousness, but woke up to see the dog’s owner putting it on a lead and fleeing the scene.

The mother-of-one was taken to hospital with severe back pain, where doctors took X-rays and scans to assess the extent of her injuries.

Although the scans revealed no serious head injuries, doctors told Mrs Carpenter that she had suffered a fractured vertebra.

“I can stand for about a minute and 20 seconds now, but they are worried that the vertebra might crush if I stand up for too long which would mean surgery. I have got to be able to stand up for 10 minutes before I can leave hospital.

“I can’t sit up without a brace, I’m in so much pain,” she said.

Mrs Carpenter, who used to work as an optometrist before she was registered disabled, said the incident has left her suffering vivid nightmares.

“All I can see is him snarling and showing his teeth. Sleeping is so important at the minute, it’s the only time that I don’t hurt. It’s been so traumatic.

“I just don’t want this to happen 
to someone else – you should have 
to have your dogs on leads,” she added.

A series of dog attacks in Norfolk has led to concerns over the number of dogs not put on leads in public places.

In May, two sheep in Attleborough were attacked by a dog off its lead and required more than 60 stitches to repair their horrific wounds.

Just a few weeks later, 48-year-old Mark Marshall was left with scars 
on his knees after a Staffordshire 
bull terrier attacked him in Taverham.

On June 21, a guide dog was attacked by a Staffordshire bull terrier on King Street in Norwich. 
It is thought the dog was not on its lead.

Police are appealing for information about the latest attack.

The owner of the dog is described as tall, well dressed and in his late 30s. The dog is described as a dark brown/black bull mastiff.

PC Scott Ellis said: “I would ask for anyone who saw this incident or with information to contact police.

“This has been a distressing incident for the victim who now faces some considerable time in hospital being treated for her injury.”

If you have any information relating to Mrs Carpenter’s attack, contact PC Scott Ellis at Bethel Street Police Station on 101.

11 comments

  • There is nothing in this article to suggest this lady was actually touched in any way by the dog so how can this be described as an attack. I hope the owner comes forward to put their version of events forward because I get the impression that this lady over-reacted.

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    Crazy

    Wednesday, July 16, 2014

  • Archant are getting plenty of mileage from this story. I think I've counted four separate articles on the same subject. I sympathise with the lady involved in this but some perspective is needed. Idiots on here who demand a ban on dogs in public places have no idea. Such events and irresponsible owners are by far in the minority. I'm sure that statistically the number of problem dogs is a tiny percentage. It's like suggesting all children should observe a curfew just because a few are badly behaved. There'll always be a minority who ruin things for the rest of us.

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    NROO

    Wednesday, July 16, 2014

  • This is just the latest in a string of attacks by dogs on people resulting in death and serious injury. All dogs are capable of being aggressive and should never be trusted with children. Plus dog owners are amongst the most irresponsible people in society usually not bothering to clear up the mess left by their dog

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    Ryan Bure

    Tuesday, July 15, 2014

  • High time that dogs were only allowed to be kept by people living in the countryside, there is no place for them in the city where they often kill or seriously injure people. They also create a massive mess in the streets leaving waste that can often cause blindness in children and transmit TB to older people, it is complete folly to import diseased stray dogs from Eastern Europe particularly Romania as little is known about how aggressive they might be and a rescue dog recently killed a child in Leicestershire.

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    blister

    Tuesday, July 15, 2014

  • Firstly I sympathize with the lady concerned however I would like to point out to the venomous Blister that not all dogs are like this. You only have to watch the fun people have with their dogs at places like Crufts and the number of dog shows that exist plus day to day activities to know that most dogs give a tremendous amount of pleasure. Not to mention dogs who visit hospitals and old peoples homes and guide dogs to mention a few. It must be awful to view every dog in this way and as for the dogs brought to this country for a better life, most have been treated terribly and deserve a second chance. All credit to the people who do this.

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    smithy

    Tuesday, July 15, 2014

  • Idiot owners like this should be charged with Actual Bodily Harm,just as if they had commited the offence themselves,and handed down the sentence that applies.The dog should then be taken away and properly trained,and 'deprogrammed' from living with an imbecile as a master.Hopefully they will find the cretinous owner soon enough,because dogs that size are fortunately not too common.

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    Nexus_6

    Tuesday, July 15, 2014

  • Here we go again the same old same old. "quick ban Dogs" yeah great idea. How about we look at the owners and not the dogs? Make it harder for little scrotes to own dogs by having dog licences or mandatory training classes. Oh and cats defecate everywhere and not just in public places but private gardens also maybe we should ban those too? And while we are at it bring back fox hunting because that’s right, foxes also empty their bowls in public. As for TB best kill all the badgers too. Getting tired of seeing the same hateful rants condemning all dogs to death. Grow up and get a life.

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    anon

    Tuesday, July 15, 2014

  • We even have the ridiculous situation of a local animal charity importing stray dogs from Eastern Europe not knowing what disease and aggression they may bring to Norwich, time dogs were removed from irresponsible owners, the city would be a much nicer and safer place with a complete ban on dogs, there is far to much dog mess everywhere that can bring disease and infections such as TB to us

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    blister

    Tuesday, July 15, 2014

  • Dogs shouldn't be banned. but keeping them on a lead except in designated places would help a lot. Certain breeds should always be muzzled in public as well. A couple of years ago my wife and children were having a picnic in Sloughbottom park when a dog ran up and started eating their food. The owner just got hold of the dog and walked away, without so much as an apology! It's time that some dog owners realised that they're responsible for the actions of their pet.

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    So_Many_Haters!

    Tuesday, July 15, 2014

  • Disgraceful thing to happen and typical that the dog owner immediately walked away leaving the lady on her own and in distress. Dogs should e banned in public places

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    blister

    Tuesday, July 15, 2014

  • This is a disgraceful thing to happen to someone let alone a vulnerable female and typical of a dog owner to walk away from the incident as quickly as possible. Hundreds of people are killed and seriously injured in attacks by dogs like this and they are also responsible for spreading TB to humans. High time that dogs should be removed from irresponsible owners and other dogs to be pet on leads at all time. We even have the crazy situation of animal charities importing stray dogs from Easter Europe not bothering about the terror they may bring to our streets

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    blister

    Tuesday, July 15, 2014

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