The partner of a woman mauled by a police dog as she hung out the washing says her recovery could take ‘months or years.’
Mum Dawn Priestley has undergone surgery for serious wounds, and remains in the Northern General Hospital after being bitten repeatedly by the police dog as it pursued a suspect in Wincobank.
Now the 38-year-old former cleaner and her partner Mark Jones, who moved into the house on Jedburgh Street only two months ago, want answers about how the attack was able to happen.
South Yorkshire Police has also referred the incident to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Mark, aged 40, said: “We are absolutely devastated –more furious with the police because they didn’t handle it very well.”
“We are still in shock and can’t believe it happened. Dawn has been cut from her elbow to her wrist to release pressure, and the night before that she had to have from her wrist to her knuckles cut.
“She will need physiotherapy and it could be months or years for her to get her hand right.”
Dawn was in the garden when she was attacked. The police dog was chasing a suspect after a window was smashed at the home of Davy Foy and Carol Denial on Fife Street – showering their son Taylor, aged seven, with glass.
Mark said: “I heard someone saying a civilian had been attacked by a police dog– then I went into the garden and it was Dawn.
“Dawn was on the ground and she was going into shock. She was shaking and her teeth were chattering.
“Dawn said the suspect had jumped over the wall to get away, and the police dog went for her.
“It wouldn’t let go of her, it kept going for her. She protected her face. It bit her right arm three times and one of the wounds is a good inch thick and six inches deep.”
A 16-year-old boy, also treated for a dog bite, has been arrested and bailed.
A police spokesman added: “The Force’s Professional Standards Department is examining the circumstances of the woman’s dog bite while this injury is referred to the IPCC.
“A referral is standard procedure when a member of the public sustains a serious injury from a police dog bite.”
n Call police on 101 quoting incident 728 August 4 with information about the attack at 2.20pm last Sunday.
n Another man was taken to hospital after being bitten by a police dog in Sheffield yesterday.
He was bitten during a police pursuit mounted after two men crashed on Gregg House Road, Shiregreen, and failed to stop at the scene.
A police spokeswoman said: “A man was arrested after a foot pursuit, and another man was arrested after being located by a dog handler hiding in gardens nearby. The man sustained dog bite injuries for which he received hospital treatment.”