https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/li ... d-15148133
Steven Lomax said he put his foot out to prevent himself being bitten by a Shitzu a second time and was immediately floored
A young dad who punched a postman full in the face after he kicked his dog is facing jail.
Richard Ditchfield, 31, said that postie Steven Lomax repeatedly kicked his Shitzu cross George after he had jumped up at him to say hello and that he was acting in self defence of himself and his dog.
But Mr Lomax said kicking out after being bitten was an "instinctive" reaction.
Martyn Walsh, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court that Ditchfield’s home in Twyford Close, Widnes was on Mr Lomax’s round.
On the day of the incident Ditchfield was mowing his front lawn, the dog was on the footpath and a neighbour, Colette Hulme, was crouching down stroking George when the postman arrived to deliver mail.
Mr Walsh said: “As he walked past the dog jumped up and bit him on the back of his leg. He put his foot out towards the dog to stop that happening again. He walked a metre when he heard a voice behind and turned round and was punched full force in the face.”
He fell to the ground and at Whiston Hospital it was found he had suffered scratches on the back of his left calf, consistent with a bite, fractures to both sides of his nose and his eye socket and a graze to the back of his head. He was kept in overnight.
Mr Lomax, 46, a postman for 27 years, told the jury that as he walked past the dog, which was on a lead attached to one of the large rocks in the garden, it “started barking, broke free and bit my left leg. I continued to walk away, I heard a voice and I turned round and was hit to the floor.”
He added: “I instinctively kicked the dog with my left foot to get the dog away from me and to prevent it attacking me further.”
When interviewed by police Ditchfield said that George, who was still attached to his lead, had just jumped up to say ‘hello’ and the postman, “who could easily have walked away, stayed in the same place and kicked and kicked and kicked. I can’t understand how someone could do that.”
He continued: “It is human instinct to protect… I pushed him away from my dog and Colette, it was a reaction to get him off.
“The goal was not to hurt anyone but to get him off the dog.” He described George as “like a teddy bear”.
Colette Hulme, who has since married and is now called Colette Swain, told the court that the postman had repeatedly kicked George “which made me feel sick. I turned and picked the dog up. I didn’t think he (the postman) was going to stop.”
She said she did not see George bite him nor what the happened to Mr Lomax but when she turned around he was on the ground.
But a jury found Ditchfield guilty by a 11- 1 majority of inflicting grievous bodily harm to Mr Lomax in the incident on October 6 last year.
Ditchfield, who has three young daughters, told the court that George had just brought “joy” to the family and sleeps on the bed of his five-year-old daughter.
Ditchfield said he has since been served with a civil claim by Mr Lomax for damages.
The judge, Recorder Ian Unsworth QC, allowed Ditchfield bail but warned him that all sentencing options will be open when he returns for sentence next Friday.
Mr Recorder Unsworth said: “I am sure you understand this is a serious matter.”