AN ELDERLY cyclist was left hospitalised for four days after a farmer’s dog launched an unprovoked attack.

88-year-old Susan Greene was forced to cycle home with bleeding injuries to escape the animal.

Prosecutor, Verity Quaite, said Ms Greene went for a walk along a public footpath next to Clifton Maybank Farm at around 5.30pm on April 16, 2023.

However, when returning to her bicycle she felt a bite to her lower calf followed by intense pain and blood loss.

The victim attempted to cycle home before a passer-by stopped her and drove her to the hospital.

She stayed in Yeovil Hospital for four days and was treated with a tetanus injection before being referred to Salisbury for possible plastic surgery.

The court heard that the dog involved, an old English bulldog named Yogi, was already under a control order at the time of the incident for an unrelated biting attack in October 2022.

Yogi’s owner, Graham Habberfield, was required to keep the dog under control and install warning signs along the property, which was not done.

The 62-year-old said he secured Yogi along with three other dogs before leaving to work on the farm, but it must have escaped.

Mitigating, Richard Tutt, said the defendant later found a badger run on the farm which may have allowed Yogi to escape the property.

He added Yogi had accidentally had puppies with another dog two months before the first biting attack, which may have made it overprotective.

The defendant has since taken Yogi to a dog kennels that trains Dorset Police dogs, where there has been “no issues”.

His daughter, Natalie Habberfield, who is “besotted” by Yogi told the court it is a very affectionate dog and is her nine-year-old daughter’s “best friend”.

“If I felt Yogi was any danger, I would take him to the vets myself and have him put to sleep,” said Ms Habberfield.

Judge Robert Pawson said photos following the attack show “three very serious injuries and bruising”.

He added the victim must be of very robust and flagrant character to have been able to get back on her bike and cycle home.

Susan Hillier, a Dorset Police dog expert, said on the Dunbar dog bite scale, with six being fatal, this incident rated a level five.

Graham Habberfield pleaded guilty to being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control causing injury.

He was sentenced to 10 months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay £4500 in compensation.

Judge Pawson also ordered the destruction of Yogi, adding it was not punishment but for public safety.