A DELIVERY driver who had part of his finger ripped off by a dog appealed for it not to be put down, instead blaming the owner.

Andrew Marshall, the owner of Lola the labrador, was given a curfew and ordered to pay hundreds in compensation when he appeared at Worcester Magistrates Court last Thursday.

Nichola Ritchie, prosecuting, told magistrates that the victim, UPS driver Vaughan Earwalker, went to Marshall’s home in Cartwright Way, Evesham on April 11 last year, and having knocked he decided to post a note to say he had called.

Miss Ritchie said: “He reached to post the note through the door and the next thing he knew the dog had hold of him, and pulled him towards the door.”

Miss Ritchie said when he was able to get his right hand away it was covered in blood, with neighbours coming out their homes to give him first aid.

She said Mr Earwalker was in shock when he realised part of his index finger was missing, and later at hospital he required stitches to his middle and ring figure, caused by the dog’s bites.

Miss Ritchie read from a personal statement Mr Earwalker had prepared, saying his life had been changed since the injury, becoming nervous around dogs while doing deliveries, and had covered the hand with the glove which in the summer had led to embarrassing questions.

She said the victim had kept evaluating what had happened and if he could have done something different, as he was now struggling to do things due to the loss of the end of the finger, such as holding a knife to eat.

Miss Ritchie read out: “I don’t want the dog destroyed - the owners should have taken responsibility - the steps to prevent this happening.

“I want them to be held accountable.”

Miss Ritchie added Mr Earwalker had no warning as the dog had not barked before pushing the note through, and highlighted that another earlier incident had come to light in which the dog had grabbed a stick used by a postmen to deliver post.

Mark Sheward, defending, said Marshall had owned Lola for seven years as their family pet, the dog living at the home with his three children.

“The dog has never ever been aggressive," Mr Sheward said.

"The only time is when something is posted through the letter box.”

Mr Sheward explained after the stick was taken, the 35-year-old fitted a cage letter collector on the door. But when this broke plaster on the wall, Marshall took the cage off with a “short period” of around two weeks when Marshall had been planning to fit a letter box on the outside of his home, when the incident took place.

"He has asked me to apologies for him, he accepts responsibility as the owner and therefore will be subject to a punishment," Mr Sheward added.

Marshall was given a 16 week curfew, in place between 8pm and 6am, but not active between March 8 and 10 allowing Marshall to go on a family holiday for his wife's birthday.

Marshall was ordered to pay £900 to the victim, costs of £185, and a victim surcharge of £185 - a total of £1,270, which Marshall is to pay at a rate of £100 per month.

Magistrates also handed out a contingent destruction order - the alternative to destruction - with the conditions that the letterbox is secure so that nothing can be posted through the home address, and that Lola is supervised while visiting any other home, so that she can not access any other letterboxes.