Out-of-control dog bit Hartlepool house visitor on face in horrifying attack

The owner of an aggressive dog which bit a woman on the face causing horrifying injuries has been jailed.

Wednesday, 6th July 2022, 1:20 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th July 2022, 2:15 pm

The victim was left with blood pouring from her face and potentially life-long facial scars following the attack by Anthony Armstrong’s French Mastiff called Bruce.

Just six months before the dog had attacked a 10-year-old girl in the street leading to Armstrong signing a council dog behaviour contract.

The attack on the woman happened at Armstrong’s home last November when the she went to visit a friend, who was not in, and Armstrong invited her in to wait.

Anthony Armstrong.

Caroline McGurk, prosecuting at Teesside Crown Court, said the woman was already afraid of the dog because of how it charged at the window whenever she knocked on the door.

She asked him to put it outside but Armstrong, 52, refused telling her “It will be fine just don’t show you are scared of it”.

At first all seemed well but it attacked her when Armstrong asked her to help him put some cream on the dog’s back which she did.

Miss McGurk said: “The dog growled at her and she darted back in her seat on the sofa.

Cornwall Street, Hartlepool. Picture from Google Images.

“The dog then attacked her and bit her face. She ran to the kitchen and the dog attacked her on route catching her to the side.”

The woman suffered cuts to her mouth, nose and around her eye and went to hospital where she was given stitches.

In a victim personal statement read in court, the woman said: “I feel I can’t trust dogs. I now have to live with scarring on my face.”

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The court heard Armstrong, of Cornwall Street, Hartlepool, gave a “lying account” of the attack to police claiming the victim provoked the dog by kissing it on the face.

He said it was kept as a guard dog against burglars.

He pleaded guilty to being the owner of a dog dangerously out of control.

John Nixon, mitigating, said: “The dog had never bit anyone in his home before.

"It took him by surprise.”

Jailing Armstrong for 20 months, Recorder Thomas Moran said he had been “wholly lacking” over the woman’s injuries, adding: “You knew that the dog was temperamental with strangers.”

He also ordered the dog to be put down.