A CHESTER man has admitted owning a dog which bit a woman in the face, forcing her to require hospital treatment.

Matthew Highley, 40, of Edna Street, appeared at Chester Magistrates Court on Friday, May 7 and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity to the charge of being the owner of a dog that was dangerously out of control causing injury.

Prosecuting, Michael O'Kane said it was on New Year's Eve, 2020, when a friend of a relative of Highley, Leilani Ting, visited Highley's home. At the property was an 11-year-old small- to medium-sized cross-breed dog called Cosmo.

Highley explained the dog had been abandoned in Romania and was adopted, and had warned Ms Ting "not to look the dog in the eyes". Ms Ting was given the impression the dog "was not particularly safe", and had growled when someone put their foot on the table during a previous visit.

Ms Ting had arrived at the home at 8pm to meet Highley and they shared drinks and had some food as part of a gathering. At 8.30pm, Highley had gone outside to smoke cannabis.

At 11pm, Ms Ting was preparing to go outside to see the fireworks going off and, as she held out her left hand to stroke the dog on the head and upper back, the dog – which had looked calm initially, "the dog lunged at her face without warning".

Mr O'Kane told the court Ms Ting felt pain and blood was "pouring from her face".

An ambulance was called and Ms Ting was taken to hospital, where she stayed for 10 and a half hours, with wounds to her lip and cheek.

She was told she may need plastic surgery and the wounds may leave permanent scarring.

The court heard the victim was taking medication for her pain and was unable to eat or drink properly for weeks afterwards.

Mr O'Kane said compensation for Ms Ting was sought, as well as a destruction order for the dog.

A statement from Ms Ting's doctor said Ms Ting was intoxicated at the time and she had gone in to kiss the dog at the time she was bitten.

Defending, Steve Langton said a pre-sentence report would be required before Highley could be sentenced.

A canine behaviour expert was due to see and assess Cosmo on May 8.

The court also heard Highley was of previous good character, with no previous convictions.

Magistrates adjourned the case and Highley was unconditionally bailed to appear at Chester Magistrates Court on June 7.