John Renowden, who works for nz post, was delivering a parcel to a rural property when he was attacked by their dog. Photo/Supplied
Warning, this story contains graphic images.
A postie has described screaming for help and trying to kick away a dog that was on top of him and trying to bite his “face and throat”.
“I was in a lot of pain and was bleeding heavily I knew I needed help and needed it quickly,” John Renowden said in the Pukekohe District Court on Monday.
The NZ Post employee was delivering a parcel on a rural property in South Auckland when he says he was attacked by an American pitbull terrier cross called Jax in December, 2020.
Renowden was giving evidence in a judge-alone trial for police constable Kelly Cairney who is charged with owning a dog that attacked a person.
The postie said he had been delivering mail to the house for nearly five years and had never seen any signs warning about dogs being on the property.
On the day he was attacked he drove up the driveway to deliver a parcel.
“I parked up, grabbed the parcel and jumped out of the van to walk to the house.
“But when I heard the dog barking I knew I was in trouble.”
He said he tried to get around the van so it was between him and the dog but “that’s when it attacked me”.
“I got back on my feet, and the dog knocked me to the ground again, this time it was going for my face and throat, I was on the ground on my back and the dog was on top of me. I tried to kick the dog away and I screamed for help.”
Renowden, who suffered bites to his legs, groin, kidney and a broken wrist, said a woman came out of a house on the property at one stage.
“I think the woman at the property was scared she didn’t look like she would help me. I returned to my van and drove to a neighbouring property to get help.”
Defence lawyer Paul Barrowclough said the woman who came out of the property was Cairney’s teenage daughter who was only wearing a towel.
He put it to the postie that she did ask if he was alright.
“You say she didn’t say anything to you, but she did she asked if you were okay. The young girl was crying, wasn’t she, you were sitting in your van then.”
“You got out of the van and said ‘your dog f***ing bit me’.”
Barrowclough then put it to Renowden that a neighbour he went to for medical help then went to Cairney’s property with a baseball bat.
“I don’t know. I was busy seeking medical attention,” Renowden replied.
Cairney also gave evidence saying Jax loved people and his family.
She recalled the moment she found out about the attack and how her daughter had called her panicking.
“My daughter told me that someone was walking down the driveway with a bat.
“She said a large man was approaching her with a bat, she was in a towel about to have a shower, she said the man demanded to see the dog and that he was acting in a threatening manner.”
Cairney said drivers never normally come up her driveway, instead leaving items at a nearby barn, letterbox or horse float.
She said there were also signs at the property.
“Over the 19 years we have lived at this property we have always had ‘be aware of the dog’ signs.
“I don’t know why he decided to come up the driveway when he never usually did.”
She told the judge she had taken Jax to the vet to be put down on the same day.
“As I drove home from work, I knew what would happen to my dog because of my line of work.
“I lay on the ground and cuddled him while the vets put him to sleep.”
“He was a mummy’s boy, he was my boy.”
Auckland Council prosecutor Jade Magrath said that neither Cairney nor her daughter saw the attack so neither knew what actually happened.
“The onus is on the defendant to prove she did everything she could reasonably do to prevent this attack.
“Renowden was simply delivering a package to her house, the gate to the property was open and he wasn’t doing anything unusual, he was just doing his job.
“He had every right to be doing his job on the property.”
Judge McNaughton reserved his decision, which is expected in November.