I was attacked by a lion-hunting dog

Les Darke with his injured wrist

Les Darke with his injured wrist

First published in Echo News

A POSTMAN suffered horrific bites to his hands after being attacked by a dog originally bred to hunt lions.

Les Darke, from Shoebury , spent five days in hospital undergoing two operations after the attack by a Rhodesian ridgeback in Great Wakering.

Still in pain more than a month after the attack and plagued by nightmares, Mr Darke had to take three weeks off work after his wrist became infected from the bites, which tore deep into his flesh.

He said: “It has made me worry about the houses I’m visiting.

“I back off if I hear a dog barking.”

The owner of the dog had to wrestle it away after it bit Mr Darke’s hand, leaving six deep puncture wounds in the palm and two to the wrist.

Mr Darke had been delivering a package to a house in Barling Road when the dog darted out from behind the owner and latched onto his hand.

Fearing a second bite, Mr Darke fled to his van and wrapped his hand, which was pouring with blood, in a handkerchief. His manager took him to Southend A&E.

Surgeons operated twice on the hand after the deep wound, which cut down to the joint, became infected. He has since suffered nightmares about the attack.

Mr Darke, 54, of Kingfisher Close, has been bitten several times over his 25-year delivery career, but last month’s attack was the worst.

He said: “When I went into hospital, a couple of the people I saw thought it was par for the course. It’s just what we do. Some even made jokes about it, but it’s not like that. It’s serious.”

A Freedom of Information request by the Echo earlier this month revealed postmen in south Essex have suffered more than 300 dog attacks and 17 assaults from people over the past five years.

My Darke reported the attack to the police, but when the Echo contacted them for comment, we were told they would not be able to confirm details of the incident or say whether the law applies in this case because the officer on charge isn’t available.

Comments (18)

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6:36pm Thu 27 Sep 12

Eric Whim says...

My Darke


your dark(e) what?
[quote]My Darke [/quote] your dark(e) what? Eric Whim
  • Score: 0

7:21pm Thu 27 Sep 12

the kracken says...

If the dog owner had done those injuries himself or herself, they would be locked up for a few years,as it looks to me like GBH.

That is the only way unfortunately to deal with dog owners who's pet's cause such serious injuries . Jailing them for years will provide a deterrent to other dog owners to take much more responsibility for their choice of dog and the measures they use to control it.Why for instance does anyone need an african lion hound in great wakering? What thinking did the owner do before purchasing such a breed, they are very expensive dogs and what was the purpose of owning one?

Iam not in favour of banning any breed but dog owners must accept full criminal responsibility if their dog causes an injury or a death, which means potentially being given a life sentence if someone is killed. Unfortunately such radical measures are needed to reign in the lack of personal responsibility which infests british society thanks to decades of first thatcherite i'm alright jack thinking and then blairite I know my rights liberalism and political correctness a lethal and caustic combination. A firm hand is needed.
If the dog owner had done those injuries himself or herself, they would be locked up for a few years,as it looks to me like GBH. That is the only way unfortunately to deal with dog owners who's pet's cause such serious injuries . Jailing them for years will provide a deterrent to other dog owners to take much more responsibility for their choice of dog and the measures they use to control it.Why for instance does anyone need an african lion hound in great wakering? What thinking did the owner do before purchasing such a breed, they are very expensive dogs and what was the purpose of owning one? Iam not in favour of banning any breed but dog owners must accept full criminal responsibility if their dog causes an injury or a death, which means potentially being given a life sentence if someone is killed. Unfortunately such radical measures are needed to reign in the lack of personal responsibility which infests british society thanks to decades of first thatcherite i'm alright jack thinking and then blairite I know my rights liberalism and political correctness a lethal and caustic combination. A firm hand is needed. the kracken
  • Score: 0

7:33pm Thu 27 Sep 12

Soouthchurch59 says...

Getting attacked by a dog when it's out hunting lions has got to be quite a rare occurrence in this country!
Getting attacked by a dog when it's out hunting lions has got to be quite a rare occurrence in this country! Soouthchurch59
  • Score: 0

7:35pm Thu 27 Sep 12

Brunning999 says...

Actually he looks like the Lion in 'over the rainbow'
Actually he looks like the Lion in 'over the rainbow' Brunning999
  • Score: 0

7:53pm Thu 27 Sep 12

billericay boy says...

"once bitten, twice shy" £££££
"once bitten, twice shy" £££££ billericay boy
  • Score: 0

9:05pm Thu 27 Sep 12

DogsMessInLeigh says...

Royal mail should blacklist the address.
Royal mail should blacklist the address. DogsMessInLeigh
  • Score: 0

9:12pm Thu 27 Sep 12

Illinois10 says...

Why do we need to know where the postman lives...
Why do we need to know where the postman lives... Illinois10
  • Score: 1

9:14pm Thu 27 Sep 12

DogsMessInLeigh says...

same reason we need to know how old he is.
same reason we need to know how old he is. DogsMessInLeigh
  • Score: 1

11:23pm Thu 27 Sep 12

APR says...

Perhaps postmen should be issued with electronic dog repellents. ?
Perhaps postmen should be issued with electronic dog repellents. ? APR
  • Score: 1

7:43am Fri 28 Sep 12

Blind Haze says...

APR wrote:
Perhaps postmen should be issued with electronic dog repellents. ?
A taser?
[quote][p][bold]APR[/bold] wrote: Perhaps postmen should be issued with electronic dog repellents. ?[/p][/quote]A taser? Blind Haze
  • Score: 0

7:49am Fri 28 Sep 12

Woodenspoon says...

As with all dogs, its the way they are trained/brought up to behave and what they are led to believe is acceptable. I have owned at least 3 Rhodesian Ridgebacks in my life from a kid at the age of 3 till a few years back.
I have never taught any of my dogs, be they little or big to ever play Tug of War with a toy or to attack a toy or anything that moves. I have always been the Alpha male to them and made them know that from a puppy. All my dogs would ever do to a person is lick them to death from excitement. They even share the bed with cats. A dog is an extension of the owner and as such if the dog does anything wrong then the owner should be punished/prosecuted for the wrong as if though they themselves had done it, or if they had used the dog as a weapon.
As with all dogs, its the way they are trained/brought up to behave and what they are led to believe is acceptable. I have owned at least 3 Rhodesian Ridgebacks in my life from a kid at the age of 3 till a few years back. I have never taught any of my dogs, be they little or big to ever play Tug of War with a toy or to attack a toy or anything that moves. I have always been the Alpha male to them and made them know that from a puppy. All my dogs would ever do to a person is lick them to death from excitement. They even share the bed with cats. A dog is an extension of the owner and as such if the dog does anything wrong then the owner should be punished/prosecuted for the wrong as if though they themselves had done it, or if they had used the dog as a weapon. Woodenspoon
  • Score: 2

8:44am Fri 28 Sep 12

APR says...

Blind Haze wrote:
APR wrote:
Perhaps postmen should be issued with electronic dog repellents. ?
A taser?
They just emit a high frequency sound. Maplin sell them.

....................
....................
....................
....................
......
I'd better not say more, as apparently one or two people don't like my comments, and are running to the Echo to complain.
[quote][p][bold]Blind Haze[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]APR[/bold] wrote: Perhaps postmen should be issued with electronic dog repellents. ?[/p][/quote]A taser?[/p][/quote]They just emit a high frequency sound. Maplin sell them. .................... .................... .................... .................... ...... I'd better not say more, as apparently one or two people don't like my comments, and are running to the Echo to complain. APR
  • Score: 0

12:24pm Fri 28 Sep 12

SpaffSpiff84 says...

Bit of a dramatisation, the dogs didn't "hunt" lions, they were used to distract lions so the hunters could get close enough to shoot them
Bit of a dramatisation, the dogs didn't "hunt" lions, they were used to distract lions so the hunters could get close enough to shoot them SpaffSpiff84
  • Score: 0

12:26pm Fri 28 Sep 12

perini says...

Blind Haze wrote:
APR wrote: Perhaps postmen should be issued with electronic dog repellents. ?
A taser?
Last time I tasered a dog it went ballistic and started running around in ever decreasing circles!
[quote][p][bold]Blind Haze[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]APR[/bold] wrote: Perhaps postmen should be issued with electronic dog repellents. ?[/p][/quote]A taser?[/p][/quote]Last time I tasered a dog it went ballistic and started running around in ever decreasing circles! perini
  • Score: 0

11:16am Sat 29 Sep 12

v.randy says...

Pencil up the nose...always works(the dogs nose that is)
Pencil up the nose...always works(the dogs nose that is) v.randy
  • Score: 0

2:08pm Sat 29 Sep 12

muffindamule says...

Illinois10 wrote:
Why do we need to know where the postman lives...
DogsMessInLeigh says...
same reason we need to know how old he is.

So we can send him a birthday card !
[quote][p][bold]Illinois10[/bold] wrote: Why do we need to know where the postman lives...[/p][/quote]DogsMessInLeigh says... same reason we need to know how old he is. So we can send him a birthday card ! muffindamule
  • Score: 0

6:34pm Sat 29 Sep 12

E -Type says...

the kracken wrote:
If the dog owner had done those injuries himself or herself, they would be locked up for a few years,as it looks to me like GBH.

That is the only way unfortunately to deal with dog owners who's pet's cause such serious injuries . Jailing them for years will provide a deterrent to other dog owners to take much more responsibility for their choice of dog and the measures they use to control it.Why for instance does anyone need an african lion hound in great wakering? What thinking did the owner do before purchasing such a breed, they are very expensive dogs and what was the purpose of owning one?

Iam not in favour of banning any breed but dog owners must accept full criminal responsibility if their dog causes an injury or a death, which means potentially being given a life sentence if someone is killed. Unfortunately such radical measures are needed to reign in the lack of personal responsibility which infests british society thanks to decades of first thatcherite i'm alright jack thinking and then blairite I know my rights liberalism and political correctness a lethal and caustic combination. A firm hand is needed.
" A firm hand is needed."

Not a bitten one!
[quote][p][bold]the kracken[/bold] wrote: If the dog owner had done those injuries himself or herself, they would be locked up for a few years,as it looks to me like GBH. That is the only way unfortunately to deal with dog owners who's pet's cause such serious injuries . Jailing them for years will provide a deterrent to other dog owners to take much more responsibility for their choice of dog and the measures they use to control it.Why for instance does anyone need an african lion hound in great wakering? What thinking did the owner do before purchasing such a breed, they are very expensive dogs and what was the purpose of owning one? Iam not in favour of banning any breed but dog owners must accept full criminal responsibility if their dog causes an injury or a death, which means potentially being given a life sentence if someone is killed. Unfortunately such radical measures are needed to reign in the lack of personal responsibility which infests british society thanks to decades of first thatcherite i'm alright jack thinking and then blairite I know my rights liberalism and political correctness a lethal and caustic combination. A firm hand is needed.[/p][/quote]" A firm hand is needed." Not a bitten one! E -Type
  • Score: 0

6:36pm Sat 29 Sep 12

E -Type says...

DogsMessInLeigh wrote:
Royal mail should blacklist the address.
What good is that? The dog, other than invites from Cruft's, doesn't get much mail anyway.
[quote][p][bold]DogsMessInLeigh[/bold] wrote: Royal mail should blacklist the address.[/p][/quote]What good is that? The dog, other than invites from Cruft's, doesn't get much mail anyway. E -Type
  • Score: 0

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