A man who was in charge of a vicious dog that mauled a woman’s neck in South Shields has been jailed.
Scott Sehman, 32, of no fixed abode, has been sentenced to 16 months behind bars after a Japanese Akita left a 38-year-old woman with life-changing injuries in August 2017.
The horrifying incident unfolded at an address where Sehman was temporarily residing, when the victim woke up and found the dog’s jaws clamped around her neck.
Bleeding heavily, she was taken to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary for emergency surgery to her throat, neck and head and subsequently was forced to eat through a tube for months.
Sehman, whose mother owned the pet but had told him to keep any guests away from it, pleaded guilty to being in charge of a dog which caused injury while dangerously out of control.
He was sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court today (October 3).
PC Kate Dolan, of Northumbria Police, said: “This was an incredibly distressing incident for the victim who is lucky to still be alive. She was forced to spend more than six weeks in hospital, and the injuries she suffered were severe and long-lasting.
“I would like to thank her for the bravery and cooperation shown throughout this case, and sincerely hope that she goes on to make a full recovery.
“Dogs can be lovely pets, but in the wrong hands, they can be responsible for horrific injuries such as these. It is for those responsible for them to ensure they are kept under control – and appropriate action will be taken against anybody who fails to do so.”
The court was told the victim met Sehman at a pub and returned to the address with him, before falling asleep on the bed.
However, when she woke up, a three-year-old Japanese Akita – which was tied to the bedpost – had bitten her neck, puncturing her windpipe.
The woman was rushed to hospital and received emergency life-saving surgery. Her injuries were so severe that she had to eat through a tube for the next six months.
“It’s been horrific,” the victim said. “I regularly go to the doctors 14 months on and I still can’t eat certain food.
“It’s had a huge effect on my life. I don’t like to leave the house often, and every time I hear a dog bark it makes me jump.
“I don’t blame the dog, I blame who was in charge of it – and I sincerely hope this ordeal helps to raise awareness of this issue and prevents anybody else from going through what I have.”