A DOG was used as a weapon to savage a man during a bloody attack before he was set upon by a gang of four and beaten so badly his skin ‘popped'.

However, the animal is unlikely to be destroyed and could be rehomed with the owner's aunt if certain conditions are met following the shocking attack in Worcester.

Harrowing details were revealed at Worcester Crown Court yesterday, including photographs of the injuries the victim suffered.

We have already reported how a man in his 30s was treated near Bushwackers for dog bites and taken to Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester after an ambulance rushed to the scene following a 999 call.

The case was adjourned despite one of the defendants having travelled by prison transport from Manchester for the sentencing hearing following the group attack in The Trinity, Worcester at around 4am on February 3 this year.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross carried out the initial attack, inflicting bite wounds, before he was set upon by a man and three youths, one of whom has since turned 18. All now stand convicted for their role in the attack.

Andrew Cornes, 35, of George Street, Worcester has been convicted of grievous bodily harm with intent (section 18) and of being the owner of a dog which caused injuries while dangerously out of control.

Bobby Watts, aged 19, of Westmount Road, London is due to be sentenced for assault occasioning actual bodily harm and affray for his role in the incident. Watts also falls to be sentenced for unconnected matters from Manchester involving possession of a lock knife and a steak knife.

Aaron Abbott, aged 18, of Solent Road, Worcester (who was 17 at the time of the attack) is due to be sentenced for assault occasioning actual bodily harm and affray for his part in the Worcester incident.

Two youths, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, have already been sentenced to 12 month referral orders for affray and ABH for their part in the attack in the aftermath of the dog attack.

Ian Ball, prosecuting, said the Crown was seeking a contingent destruction order with conditions rather than a destruction order.

A CDO may involve certain requirements to keep the dog under proper control, whether by muzzling, keeping it on a lead, excluding it from specified places and sometimes by the neutering of male dogs.

Mr Ball said of the attack itself: "It's kicking and punching by Watts and Abbott once the complainant was on the ground having already been savaged by the dog."

Daniel Oscroft, for Abbott, said the photographs that had been uploaded to the court files showed injuries 'caused by the section 18' rather than the punching or kicking which followed, arguing that his client's role in the attack was one of lower culpability.

However, Mr Ball said it was impossible for the Crown to say whether some of the injuries had been caused by the dog or the kicks and punches which followed.

"We say a bleeding head is quite consistent with being kicked. In the victim personal statement he describes, whilst being kicked, hearing a popping noise which he took to be a further breaking of his skin" said Mr Ball.

Mark Lister, for Cornes, said a request had been made for the police to provide information in relation to a dog handler's assessment of the dog including whether it was dangerous or not.

"Clearly that hasn't been done, for whatever reason" said Mr Lister.

He said he understood the position of the Crown was to seek a contingent destruction order for the dog which would not be opposed by the defence. However, he said Cornes would be happy if the dog goes to his aunt.

Watts was being brought to court from a prison in Manchester but at the time of the hearing still had not arrived on the prison transport. Cornes refused to attend the videolink room at his prison when he discovered that Watts had not yet arrived on the transport, the court heard.

The case was adjourned until September 25. The sentencing hearing is expected to take half a day which will include determining what to do about the dog.