Woman scarred for life in attack by Akita dog
Doctors could not count number of stitches on victim’s ravaged face
A WOMAN has been left scarred for life after a friend’s powerful dog ravaged her face as she went to kiss it goodbye after a funeral.
Sylvia Baillie was mauled by the Japanese Akita in Paisley, Renfrewshire, last July.
Her daughter had to grab the animal and drag it away after its jaw clamped shut on her face.
Mrs Baillie, 60, was left so disfigured doctors were unsure how many stitches they had used to seal her wounds.
She was set upon by the animal as she said farewell to a gathering of friends at a house following the funeral ceremony.
It came weeks after a 72-year-old woman had also been savaged by the dog, leaving her wrist bloodied and cut to the bone. The pet, which has been in kennels since the attack on Mrs Baillie, is due to put down.
Owner Leeanne McHugh, 35, and her boyfriend Patrick Maher, 46, admitted offences under the Dangerous Dogs Act at Paisley Sheriff Court yesterday.
Charges that the dog also attacked a baby and another woman and scarred another dog were dropped.
McHugh admitted she was the owner of the dog that attacked Mrs Baillie.
Maher pled guilty to being in charge of a dog that was dangerously out of control when it attacked his aunt, Jane Darroch, and left her with “severe injury and permanent disfigurement” to her arm.
Procurator Fiscal Depute Alan Parfery told the court Mrs Baillie was attacked in the couple’s home on July 13 last year following a funeral.
He added Mrs Baillie went to leave the property and waved goodbye to the Akita. As she went to give it a kiss, it bit her on the face.
He added: “The dog’s jaw locked, for what’s described as a few seconds, before her daughter grabbed the dog and pulled the dog away.”
He said that neither McHugh or Maher did anything to prevent the attack despite also being in the room.
The court heard Maher then took the dog out of the living room and later told police away.
Mr Parfery said McHugh tried to treat Mrs Baillie’s injuries and the police and ambulance found her with a wound to the left of her face.
He added: “She had been attempting to stem some of the blood with toilet paper but ambulance workers had to apply a large pressure pad.
“The injury was very severe and she is permanently disfigured.
“Doctors are unable to say how many stitches were applied as they were both external, to the face, and it had run inside her mouth. There were so many stitches inserted, the doctors could not say.”
The court heard the dog had also attacked Maher’s aunt, Ms Darroch, 72, on June 30 last year, leaving her in “unbearable” pain and requiring 12 stitches.
Sheriff David Pender deferred sentence for background reports and bail was continued.
Japanese Akitas are a powerful breed of dog that hail from the mountains in the north of the country. They are generally affectionate with family members, but aloof with strangers.
‘‘ The dog’s jaw locked, for what is described as a few seconds, before her daughter grabbed the dog and pulled the dog away
SCARRED: Sylvia Ballie, with her brother Stevie Pursley, was attacked by the powerful dog as she left a gathering of friends after a funeral.