Woman awarded €234,000 after dog attack left her children 'frightened to come close to her'

A woman who was viciously attacked by two boxer dogs as she walked along a quiet rural road has been awarded over €234,000 by a High Court judge, writes Ann O'Loughlin.

The attack only stopped when another woman came on the scene in her car and sounded the car horn making the dogs run away.

Mr Justice Anthony Barr, who directed that the victim not be identified said it was a vicious attack by the dogs, who repeatedly bit her in the head, face, arms and legs.

The woman who was knocked to the ground lay face down on the grass verge of the side of the road in an attempt to save her face but she received multiple puncture wounds and lacerations to both arms and the dogs kept biting at her head and body.

The judge said the woman gave evidence and told how she was terrified during the ordeal.

Mr Justice Barr said liability was not an issue in the case against the dog owners.

The dogs had later been put down.

The woman had gone for her evening walk and noticed the dogs were standing in the entrance of the driveway.

They came slightly out and she told them to "go home" but the dogs came across the road, jumped up in an effort to bite her face and knocked her on to the green verge of the road.

Mr Justice Barr said the woman was devastated in the days and months after the accident and she stated she was horrified by her appearance.

"She had extensive lacerations and bruising to her face and body," the judge said.

"Her young children were frightened to come close to her."

Mr Justice Barr said he was satisfied the woman was exposed to a prolonged and very frightening attack by the two dogs and has been left with a large number of permanent scars on her face and arms.

The judge pointed out there was a marked difference in the presentation of the woman in a photograph taken at a family event in the months previous to the attack and the woman in court for the case.

He also accepted evidence she suffered a moderate form of post traumatic stress disorder following the attack.

Awarding a total amount of €234,557 Mr Justice Barr said the woman had stated she was still very afraid of dogs and if she met them on the streets she would avert her eyes and pull her hands in to her sleeves and walk away.

He added the woman had not tried to embellish the details of the attack nor had she exaggerated the injuries which she suffered.

The court, he said accepted the evidence as to the profound change which the woman has undergone in her personality, in her appearance and her mental state since the time of the attack.

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