Schoolgirl tells court she “thought she was going to die” during dog attack

Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court
Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court

A schoolgirl has told a court how an American Akita dog called Chaos chewed through a fence to get into her garden, bit holes in the trampoline she was playing on then bit her sixteen times during a savage attack.

The girl – just 13 at the time – said she “thought she was going to die” as the “muscly” dog pursued her before pinning her down and repeatedly biting her.

The dog’s owner, Brian Ralph, denies a charge under the Dangerous Dogs Act in relation to the incident and went on trial today (Thursday) at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court.

The girl - now 14 and who cannot be named for legal reasons - told the court she had been playing with her cousin in their garden on a warm summer day last July when the attack happened.

She said Chaos had been barking in an adjacent garden before he started chewing a fence post – causing it to fall down.

The animal then began to bite at barbed wire separating that garden from hers before opening up a hole that he squeezed through.

Chaos then roamed round her garden before walking underneath the trampoline the two children were playing on.

The girl said he bit holes in the fabric they were bouncing on - prompting her to get off in a bid to summon help from her brother.

Describing the horrific attack that followed, she said: “He came up and jumped on top of me.

“He put his paw right down my back - right down the middle.

“I landed on my back and Chaos was trying to bite me on my face.

“I put my hands up to protect myself and he started biting my arms repeatedly.

“I ended up with 13 bites on my left arm and three on my right.

“I was screaming and shouting for help.

“My upstairs neighbour looked out the window and shouted ‘Oh my God’.

“Her partner came down and got a broom to corner him up against the fence.”

The girl added: “I thought I was going to die - I felt like I couldn’t breathe.

“When I took my jumper off all I could see was bitemarks and blood everywhere.

“I had to have two operations to clean and stitch and bandage the wounds.”

Asked by fiscal depute Nicola Henderson how she now felt about dogs, she said: “I’m terrified basically. I feel better now Chaos is no longer in the next garden.”

Neighbour David Soutar told how he ran to the girl’s aid when she saw her being savaged.

He said: “She was in quite a bad state.

“I got between the dog and her and moved it back.

“I got it corralled in the corner and managed to get it back through the fence.”

Ralph (24), of Methil, denies a charge of being the owner of a dog that was dangerously out of control in Lomond Gardens, Methil, on July 20 last year.

The trial, before Sheriff Jamie Gilchrist QC, continues.