A CYCLIST was left with puncture wounds to her leg and was unable to compete in several triathlons when she was bitten by a “startled” dog.

Teresa Roberts was pedalling along Baughton Lane, Strensham, near Upton, at about 7.30pm on May 2 when she was hurt by the Leonberger.

Abbey Kingston, prosecuting at Worcester Magistrates Court, said although the dog was on a lead the whole time, Mrs Roberts and her husband described seeing it dragging its owner, Christine Lees, along the floor in the run up to the incident.

After the bite, Lees regained control of the dog and immediately took it into her home.

Mrs Roberts suffered two puncture wounds to the front and back of her right lower leg and was unable to complete in several triathlon events as a result. Ms Kingston said she was not seeking compensation for the victim as a civil settlement had already been made, but she asked the bench to consider imposing a control order on the dog requiring it to wear a muzzle in public.

Lees, of Baughton Lane, Strensham, pleaded guilty to allowing a dog to be dangerously of control in public.

Greg Gordon, defending, said the dog’s behaviour was defensive and she was not aggressive by nature.

He said it had been bright sunshine at the time of the incident and his client was startled by a flash of light reflecting off the cyclists’ helmets, to which the dog reacted with a single bite.

Mr Gordon said the dog was on two leads at the time and the loss of control had been down to her owner’s frailty.

He said Lees was a qualified dog trainer and had entered many animals successfully into shows, including the dog involved in the incident.

However, the pensioner suffers from arthritis in her hands and had since signed her pet over to a breeder. She urged magistrates not to impose a muzzle as that would prevent her from taking part in future competitions.

Magistrates fined the defendant £90 and ordered her to pay costs of £85, as well as a £20 victim surcharge.

They imposed a 12-month control order on the dog, requiring her to be on a lead at all times when in public.

Chairman of the bench Ina Steele said: “You did everything you could after the incident, it was just unfortunate that the incident occurred.”