Hermes Delivery Driver Has Finger Bitten Off By Dog While Posting Parcel
***WARNING - GRAPHIC IMAGES OF INJURIES BELOW***
A Hermes delivery driver who had her finger bitten off by a dog while delivering a parcel has described a court ruling as a 'joke', after the owner was spared prison.
Nicola Cringle was posting a package through Tyrone Brophy's letterbox in Swinton, Manchester, when a Staffordshire Bull Terrier on the other side locked onto the tip of her finger. The force of the dog was such that Miss Cringle smashed her head on the front door as it tugged her, Manchester Crown Court heard.
Miss Cringle's 12-year-old daughter watched on for almost five minutes before a neighbour heard her screams and was able to help prise her free.
It was at this point that Miss Cringle realised the dog had taken off half of her finger and tendon, leaving her in agonising pain.
The dog was never found, with Brophy, 24, claiming it had escaped through a garden fence after the attack. Brophy was given a community order and 120 hours of unpaid work, after admitting to being the owner of a dog dangerously out of control. He was also ordered to pay £2,000 compensation to Miss Cringle at a rate of £100 a month.
However, almost a year on from the attack, Miss Cringle still suffers from anxiety and depression caused by the attack and the lifelong injuries she sustained. The mum-of-three, from Bury, also said that her daughter who witnessed the attack last October now suffers from post-traumatic stress.
Speaking to the Manchester Evening News about Brophy's sentence, she said: "It is just a joke, it's not exactly a deterrent is it?
"I have been diagnosed with arthritis in my hand and I am still awaiting further surgery.
"My 12-year-old daughter is still having nightmares and is absolutely terrified of me going near dogs or going back to work."
Following the attack, Miss Cringle was taken to hospital, but doctors could not reattach her finger as police were unable to get inside the house to retrieve the severed digit.
Greater Manchester Police said they did not have the powers under the Dangerous Dogs Act to force entry without a court order.
Prosecutor Simone Flynn, told the court: "The defendant said the dog had never shown aggression before, and conceded that there was no warning or cage on the letter box.
"Miss Cringle said she had visited the property on a number of occasions and had not been aware that a dog lived there."
However, Brophy's defence lawyer, Michael Balmer, said the attack was an 'unforeseeable offence.'
He told the court: "Genuine remorse has been evidenced by this defendant. Mr Brophy is a man of good character and he is in employment as an engineer and is studying to progress further in his career.
"He comes across as a genuine, hard working and likeable man who has found himself in a very difficult position."
Sentencing Brophy, Judge David Hernandez, said: "The consequences of this incident have been quite severe.
"The photographs I am currently looking at show a truly horrific injury.
"To have suffered an injury of this nature will lead to permanent pain and affect her employment prospects and her ability to care for her children."
Featured Image Credit: MEN Media