A jogger escaped being mauled to death by a dangerous dog by jumping into a river where she was trapped for 30 minutes, a court heard.
The out-of-control boxweiler – a boxer-rottweiler cross – has been condemned to death for the terrifying attack on Rachel Drew.
The victim had been running along the River Stour in Dorset with earbuds in when the animal pounced on her from behind.
It jumped on her shoulders and pushed her to the ground before clamping its jaws on her arm and dragging her across the grass.
A witness heard Rachel’s “blood-curdling” screams as the ferocious dog tore her flesh and “nearly ripped her arm off” at Canford Park in Poole on July 23 last year.
When the 15-month-old boxweiler called Frank finally let go she got up and jumped into the river to escape.
Frank paced the riverbank, “snarling” at Rachel, and went for her again when members of the public helped her out.
The loose dog then climbed on a three-year-old girl before witness James Woodrow stepped in and got it off of her.
Owner Barbara Costello was unable to call her dog back and remained helpless as she held on to her other boxweiler Kane.
A “big young man” eventually restrained it. Rachel suffered “horrific life-changing injuries” and needed plastic surgery on her right arm, Poole Magistrates’ Court heard.
The bites caused deep puncture wounds and nerve damage and she was in constant pain for months. They were ranked as level five on the Dunbar dog bite scale – the highest level of six is for fatal injuries.
Rachel said a doctor told her that if a child had been attacked, they would have probably died. Mum of three Costello, 47, was handed a 12-week suspended jail sentence after admitting being in charge of a dangerously out-of-control dog causing injury.
She appealed to a district judge to spare her dog’s life.
But Orla Austin ruled: “This is a very serious multiple bite attack and it caused life-changing injuries.
“The dog did not comply with instructions to stop, he was clearly dangerously out of control. I’m not satisfied even on a lead he would obey your instructions and I’m not satisfied you would be able to stop him if he were to attack another person.”
Costello was walking Frank off the lead while she held on to Kane.
Rachel was halfway through a 10km run. Jason Spellman, prosecuting, read her horrific statement, saying: “It approached me from behind and scratched my back and right shoulder before clamping its mouth around my right forearm.
“The force of the bite was a nine out of 10. It was snarling and its eyes glazed over as if I was its prey.
“I thought it was going to kill me. I tried to grab its head. It did eventually let go and I could feel it ripping my skin. The pain was immense. I shouted for help and tried to stay still but it refused to let go. I went into fight or flight mode, towards the river, and jumped in to get away.”
Witness Mr Woodrow said he heard a blood-curdling scream and saw a woman being dragged on the floor by a large dog.
The court heard Rachel, who works in the beauty industry, has suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and feels she can no longer run outdoors.
She added: “While the dog is alive, I do not feel safe.”
Costello, from Ferndown, was also ordered to pay £85 costs and £154 victim surcharge.
● THE Scottish Government has been urged to quickly ban XL bully dogs. A minister said the matter was being reviewed “urgently” after reports of widespread rehoming from England where breeding, selling or abandonment was outlawed on December 31.