10 December 2014
A dog owner has been dealt a suspended prison sentence and fined after her dog brutally attacked a pregnant 21 year old and left her with shocking injuries. The dog was put down shortly after the attack.
The American Akita dog mauled Laura Holmes, 21, leaving her suffering from severe lacerations and cuts in addition to bites on her arms, leg and face. The attack, which happened at the dog owner’s home, left Holmes needing a significant amount of emergency corrective surgery. She was 29 weeks pregnant at the time, leaving her fearing for both her own life and the life of her unborn child.
Following the attack and the subsequent surgery, doctors were worried about how Miss Holmes’ body would cope with the stress of a natural birth and she gave birth to her son, Nathaniel, via Caesarean section.
"The last few months have been deeply distressing,” said Laura. “I am on the slow road to recovery, whilst doing everything I can to be the best mum for my son.”
“It is difficult to put into words the feelings and thoughts that go through your head when you are told that both you and your unborn son could both die.”
The claim was investigated by Julie Walker, who is an expert personal injury solicitor at Advance Legal.
Said Walker: “Miss Holmes was an innocent victim of a vicious dog attack, an animal that was guilty of inflicting such attacks in the past. The extent of her injuries has been significant, and she still has to face additional reconstructive surgery over the next few months, in addition to a long and slow rehabilitation period.
“For young women, appearance can mean everything, and 21 year old Laura is no different. The mirrors in her maternity ward were covered in a bid to reduce the level of emotional distress the reflective surfaces may cause. She still finds it difficult to look in mirrors following the attack, and has only been out of the house alone on very few occasions since the attack happened, for fear of encountering unknown dogs.”
Julie added: “The attack has left Laura in a vulnerable position; she was unable to pronounce words properly up until recently and is still having problems swallowing food and drink.
“Despite what she has been through, she has been incredibly brave. She is receiving counselling to help her come to terms with the shock from the attack; and she is working on rebuilding her life and confidence.”
This case sees one of the first prosecutions under new laws, where the dog owner was not only given a suspended prison sentence, but also ordered to pay the victim £1,000 compensation.
For more information, please contact us or call 0800 068 00 69 and a member of our team will be happy to discuss your compensation claim with you.