Anne Spragg was delivering newspapers when the dog leapt at her, sinking its teeth into the back of her thigh.

Now the dog's owners, Richard and Sharon Hamshar, have been ordered to keep the dog muzzled whenever it is in a public place or an area to which the public has access.

At Aldershot Magistrates' Court the couple, who live in The Lea, Fleet, admitted having a dog that was dangerous and out of control. They were also ordered to pay £30 costs.

After the hearing Mrs Spragg said she was delivering newspapers for her son in The Lea when the attack took place.

"I had already seen the children in the garden and gave them the paper while I was on the opposite side of the road," she recalled.

"I was coming down the road again when the children came out with the dog.

"One of the children was holding the dog by the lead.

"I put the trolley outside their house to deliver a paper next door, when suddenly the dog leapt at me.

"There was no gate and it came straight out and took a chunk out of me for no reason whatsoever. I just couldn't believe it.

"A lump came up straight away. I went to Frimley Park Hospital and they contemplated stitches, but the surgeon got a second opinion and they said just to keep the wound clean.

"I was in shock and lost a night's work at the old people's home where I work.

"The bite was very deep and six months down the line there's still scarring there.

"I've got a dog of my own so I'm not scared of them as a rule, but obviously I'm quite fearful now.

"If I see a loose dog I just cower in a corner."

Mrs Spragg said the dog could have easily bitten her six-year-old son.

"Quite often he comes with me and my son delivering papers," she said.

"He runs into the gardens and pops the papers through the letter boxes.

"On this particular day I said he had to stay at home with his dad. He was very tearful but I'm just glad he stayed because the dog could have bitten his face."

Mrs Spragg added: "I can't believe that with all the money it cost to take this to court all they had to pay was £30 costs.

"It's crazy because it could have been my young son's face and left him heavily scarred."

Hart Council brought the prosecution under the Dogs Act 1871.

Hart dog warden Lynn Byfield said: "We sought the control order because once a dog has bitten someone there is a strong chance they could do it again.

"There are so many attacks by dogs at the moment.

"We tend to get more during the summer months because more people are taking their dogs for walks."

Lynn will be at Wellington Country Park from 10.30am to 4pm on July 14 when she will give advice and also undertake microchipping of dogs.