July 24 2014 Latest news:
by Simon Lennon
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
WARNING: includes disturbing images. A postwoman is suing her bosses after almost losing her leg when a dog attacked her as she did her rounds.
Patricia Meddings, 44, needed more than 70 stitches and plastic surgery following the attack by the Japanese akita in Bennett Court, Holloway, last September.
Royal Mail admitted it had contacted the dog’s owner, Ali Derin, 55, of nearby Axminster Road, after concerns were raised by other postal workers before the attack on Ms Meddings.
Derin is now banned from keeping dogs for life and has to pay Ms Meddings £860 compensation for her injuries after pleading guilty to failing to control his dog.
Ms Meddings, a postwoman for 15 years, has been unable to work normal hours since the attack.
She said: “I am lucky to be alive but he [Derin] has got off lightly. His compensation is a joke. That dog was trying to take me out. If it had managed to get me on the ground I wouldn’t be here.
“Luckily I managed to get to a lamppost while it was gnawing on my leg.
“I looked down and it had taken all my muscle and fat off my leg.
“I am too ashamed to show my legs. It’s disgusting and I am stuck with this for life.
“Owners have to be given bigger punishments.”
Patricia, who lives in Islington, was saved as a passing friend ran to help, shouting at the dog.
She had two emergency operations to save the leg, along with skin grafts.
A judge ordered the dog to be destroyed last month.
Derin was given a five-month electronic tag and ordered to pay £860 in compensation, at the rate of £10 a fortnight.
Ms Meddings is now taking legal action through her union against Royal Mail, saying it failed to protect her.
Her lawyer, Adrian Fawden, who works for Simpson Millar solicitors on behalf of postal union CWU, said: “We have seen a worrying increase in attacks by dogs on post workers resulting in devastating injuries such as Patricia’s.
“Owners need to do more to ensure their pets are adequately secured, especially if they are aggressive.”
Royal Mail spokeswoman Sally Hopkins said: “Our first priority is to ensure the welfare and safety of our people who provide a valuable service to our customers.
“If we do become aware of a potential hazard, including a dog which is causing concern, we always make contact with the property owner to see whether there are sensible steps which we can jointly agree to make sure our postmen and women are able to deliver to customers without risk of attack.”