Victim of horror dog attack wants justice

Julie's wound needed 30 stitches. Picture: Michael Gillen
Julie's wound needed 30 stitches. Picture: Michael Gillen

A woman is challenging police claims she was not bitten by a stranger’s dog as she walked in a public park.

Julie McKechnie needed surgery after the attack in the grassy area opposite Falkirk Carmuirs Golf Club.

Julie and her own dog Cody

Julie and her own dog Cody

The 45-year-old health care professional with Forth Valley NHS was rushed to hospital and during a two hour operation needed 30 stitches to close a gaping wound in her knee.

She spent four days in hospital and was off work for four months.

When she got home she reported the horror incident to police and provided the names and contact details of others in the park that day who had witnessed what happened - including the owner of the dog she claims attacked her.

But she was stunned when Police Scotland told her that no crime had been committed and no action was going to be taken.

After she challenged the decision with the force’s Professional Standards Department who concluded it was the right one, Mrs McKechnie wrote to Falkirk Area Commander Chief Inspector Damian Armstrong.

A senior cop then went to her Falkirk home to tell her statements from witnesses had led them to conclude she had been bitten by her own dog!

Mrs McKechnnie has now written to the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner demanding an investigation.

She said: “To suggest that is what happened is ludicrous. The police have to be taken to task on this. They have handled it all very badly and now seem to have closed ranks to protect their own.

“Out of nowhere this man’s dog mauled me in a public park and left with a severe injury.

“I’m a dog lover, my parents bred German Shepherds, but this dog was out of control and poses a threat to the public. Its owner has to be prosecuted and the future of the dog decided under the terms of the Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act.”

On the day of the incident Mrs McKechnie says she had been walking her dog, Cody, a three-year-old Dalmation cross, in the company of her sister.

They stopped to chat with two other dog walkers, including a man who had two dogs running free off the lead. When one lunged towards Cody, Mrs McKechnie was telling the owner to put a lead on it when the other charged and bit her on the knee.”

In a statement, Police Scotland said: “Police in Falkirk investigated the circumstances and concluded no crime had been committed. A complaint was made to the Professional Standards Department regarding the level of investigation and the outcome and it was determined the level of enquiry conducted was reasonable, proportionate and thorough.”