Thursday, January 23, 2014

British TV actress who was bitten by a police dog after a terrifying burglary ordeal has received an apology from Scotland Yard

A Bafta-winning actress yesterday spoke for the first time of how she was savaged by a police dog as she hid under a bed while intruders ransacked her home.

Juliet Aubrey, 47, thought her ordeal was over after she managed to dial 999 and heard officers shouting ‘armed police’.

But her relief turned to horror when the unaccompanied Alsatian ran into the room and dragged her across the floor.

‘He sank his teeth into my leg through my skin, muscles and down to the bone,’ she said. ‘His jaw was locked right down. It was pain like I had never known. I was thinking at the time to not let it get my throat or I would be dead.’

The dog bit her three times on the arm and leg in an attack lasting up to 40 seconds that left her ‘drenched in blood’.

Miss Aubrey, who won a Bafta for her role as Dorothea in a BBC production of Middlemarch, and starred in The White Queen, required months of treatment for her injuries, including the wound that cut to the bone.

She was also diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and was left with permanent scars.

The actress spoke after a Scotland Yard inquiry found the dog’s handler should face disciplinary action.

She said as she fought the animal she turned around to see three police officers ‘just staring at me’. ‘I was screaming, "get it off me, get it off me". 'I was looking into their eyes. They were frozen. They did not say a word, they just stared.’

Miss Aubrey was alone at the £800,000 south London home she shares with her husband and children on March 13, 2012 when she heard intruders inside, with one shouting: ‘Get the gun, get the gun!’

She ran upstairs and hid under her daughter’s bed. ‘I thought I was going to die,’ she said. As she heard the intruders on the floor below she rang 999 on her mobile phone and stayed on the line for 15 minutes.

After 30 minutes, she heard the police entering her house, shouting ‘firearms, police’, and footsteps coming up the stairs.

But then the Alsatian came in and spotted her before grabbing her in its jaws. Eventually its handler came in and called off the dog.

The police inquiry found he had not been ‘diligent’ when the animal went out of his sight.

The force has apologised to Miss Aubrey and the dog has been retired from duty after suffering injuries in an unrelated incident.

An 18-month investigation found the force had ‘let her down’ and officers gave conflicting accounts of what happened. The handler, who said he was not told anyone was hiding in the house, faces a disciplinary hearing.

The intruders were never caught.

A Met spokesman said: ‘The Met has offered a formal and sincere apology. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time’

Original report here




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