Norwich man whose dog bit police officer says sorry

Ten Bell Court, Norwich where police officer Jo McCormack was attacked by a dog. Photo : Steve Adam

Ten Bell Court, Norwich where police officer Jo McCormack was attacked by a dog. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

A man, whose nine stone dog bit a woman police officer in a terrifying attack leaving her needing 24 stitches to her arm, said he was 'terribly sorry' and described it as 'an accident waiting to happen.'

Winston Brown, 55, was cleared of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and an alternative charge of unlawfully wounding PC Jo McCormack on January 11, this year, after his deceased partner's dog, a Bull Mastiff type breed, attacked the officer, when police called at his address in Ten Bell Court, Norwich.

The prosecution, at Norwich Crown Court, alleged that Brown deliberately set the dog, called King, onto the officers. The dog jumped up at the PC McCormack and sunk its teeth into her arm, which she had raised to stop the dog biting her face. Lindsay Cox, prosecuting, said the officer was left needing 16 stitches to the top of her arm and a further eight stitches under her arm.

However the jury took just over an hour to clear him of the two charges, but Brown, still faces being sentenced for keeping a dog, which was dangerously out of control, a charge he admitted.

The court heard that following the incident Brown agreed to have the dog put down and said that he had previously sought advice from a vet about having the dog put down after it bit other people in the past.

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Brown's case was adjourned until December 15 and Judge Anthony Bate said he wants to know both the physical and psychological effects of the dog attack on the officer, who has since returned to duty.

He said he would like to know how the 32 year-old officer is coping and the cosmetic impact of the injury. as to whether she can no longer wear short sleeved tops.

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He also wanted inquiries to be made to see if the dog had been neutered, which would have helped reduce its aggression.

As he left court, Brown said he was terribly sorry: 'She never deserved what happened to her. It was an accident waiting to happen.'

He said that he had tried getting the dog rehomed and had sought advice about getting the dog put down, but King had appeared well-behaved when he had taken it to the vets.

'I tried to stop this happening but could not get any help.'

He said the dog attack occurred just days after the death of his long-term partner, who had been the dog's owner.

'There are no real winners in all this.'

He said that the case had been a nightmare, leaving him with many sleepless nights.

'I would not want the police officer to think someone would let the dog on her deliberately. I would not use the dog on her as a weapon.'

At the time of the dog attack Paul Ridgway, chairman of Norfolk Police Federation, said that the incident highlighted the dangers that officers face on a daily basis when they can get unexpectedly attacked.'

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