AN ELDERLY lady has been left with “life-changing” injuries after she was mauled in a village churchyard by two off the lead Staffordshire bull terriers while trying to protect her Dachshund.

The lady, who was in her 70s, stayed in hospital for nine days after the attack and needed an operation to wire her finger together.

The dogs’ owner Lynda Hughes was ordered to pay Paula Anne Moreton £5,824 in compensation after pleading guilty to two counts of being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control causing injury.

Staffordshire bull terriers Bruce, eight, and Ruby, two, were chasing squirrels in Llansantffraid churchyard when they saw Mrs Moreton walking her little dog Bentley.

And the court heard that immediately after the attack Hughes took Bruce to be put to sleep, and Ruby has subsequently been put to sleep too.


“There were two large powerful dogs running at speed. They looked powerfully built and I realised they were aggressive. I tried to pick up Bentley and they lunged at me as I tried to pick my dog up,” Mrs Moreton said in a statement read in court by the prosecution.

“A lady arrived and desperately tried to pull the large dark dog back, but he was too powerful.”

Mrs Moreton wrapped her Daschund in her arms, trying to shield him and was repeatedly attacked by the dogs.

“I felt intense pain, it was unbelievable painful," she added.

“I remember trying to put my dog in the air and a dog clamped him in its mouth. Bentley was screaming in pain. It looked like the dog had locked its jaw, trying to rip my dog apart.

“Somehow, I managed to prise the dog away and the lady managed to pin the dog down. I then escaped but the dogs came through the gate and came for me again. The lady said ‘they’re coming through, I can’t stop them’. A dog bit me in the leg.

“I finally made it to the school lane gate and the attack stopped. I was covered in blood with puncture wounds over my hands and arms. I was hysterical.”

Mrs Moreton was taken to A&E and had to stay in hospital for more than a week for treatment and an operation on her thumb and finger which needed wiring. The pensioner said she still needs powerful painkillers for her "life changing" injuries.

She said Bentley is now a “totally changed little dog”.

Andrew Holland, defending, described the attack as "horrific and isolated" that has led to 55-year-old account manager moving out of the area after receiving threats from some members of the community.

Mr Holland added: "The incident happened quite quickly. She took every cause of action she could as the situation was arising.

"She has remorse and took matters into her own hands and put both dogs down to avoid any repercussions. It has caused a long and lasting effect mentally and physically."

Magistrates ordered Hughes, formerly of Cambrian Terrace, Llansantffraid, to pay £1,538 in fines, £154 victim surcharge and £85 court costs. She must also pay £5,000 in compensation to Mrs Moreton and an £824 invoice for Bentley's vet bills and jewellery fees after her wedding rings were cut off in hospital.

Magistrates decided not to ban her from owning dogs.