A WOMAN was knocked over and then bitten twice in the leg by a large dog in a west Cumbrian field.

Herma Mary Earl was out walking her own pet on land adjoining Ashfield Road South on April 28.

David Henry Payne, 51, was with his dog, a Dogue De Bordeaux called Ollie.

“Miss Earl was, in fact, knocked down by the defendant’s dog,” prosecutor Charles Brown told Carlisle Crown Court, “which came up from behind, not on a lead.

“It knocked her to the ground and as she was on the ground, it bit her on the right thigh towards the top of the leg.”

Payne, who was present, took hold of the dog, and led it away.

“But it got free again and bit her a second time in the same area (of the body),” said Mr Brown.

Payne retrieved the French mastiff dog once more and removed it.

He returned, apologised to Miss Earl and gave his name as “David” but said initially it wasn’t his pet.

Payne, of Fountains Avenue, Workington, was later traced through Facebook.

Miss Earl, who suffered a “nasty” wound, spoke out about the effect the dog attack had had on her.

“It has had a big impact on her routine,” said Mr Brown.

“She replays the incident in her mind, which affects her sleep.

“It has affected her confidence. She is anxious when she sees other dogs and they run towards her.”

In court, Payne admitted being the owner of a dog which caused injury while dangerously out of control in public.

Payne - a father and grandfather employed at Sellafield as a painter and decorator - was interviewed by a probation officer.

They told the court: “[Payne] doesn’t normally let the dog off the lead.

“He is really sorry.”

Brendan Burke, defending, said Payne hadn’t thought anybody else was on the land, which said to be the size of six football pitches.

“He is a responsible dog owner,” said Mr Burke. “Since then he has muzzled [his pet].”

Payne was sentenced to complete 150 hours’ unpaid work and to pay Miss Earl £1,500 compensation.

He was also ordered to keep Ollie muzzled while in public at all times, and to stay away from that land in future.