Anthony Steele, who became entangled with a dog lead while riding, has been left with permanent hearing loss after suffering severe head injuries

A cyclist has agreed a £65,000 payout with the dog walker whose lead caused the rider to suffer life-changing injuries after he became entangled in it and was “propelled from his bike.”

The cyclist, 59-year-old Anthony Steele, was training with a group of fellow riders when a dog on a retractable lead caused him to crash and suffer the awful injuries.

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The group were riding on a seafront path in Heysham, Lancashire in 2012 when the incident happened, with Mr Steele saying he had alerted a group of pedestrians in the middle of the promenade with his bell, before navigating round them.

That was when the dog, seemingly out of control, leapt in front of him and caused him to, as his lawyers stated, be “propelled from his bike.”

“The last thing I can remember before hitting the ground was seeing a small white dog dart across my path and noticing the thin black lead getting trapped in my wheels,” Mr Steele said.

He was then rushed to hospital, where the extent of his injuries were revealed to include fractured skull, bruised brain tissue, blood clots, fractured ribs and a fractured collarbone.

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“I had no idea of the severity of my injuries suffered until I had come round in hospital and my wife, Lynne informed me of the skull fracture,” he said.

“The experience has left me with permanent hearing loss, dizziness, headaches, balancing issues and pain in my right shoulder.”

“I can’t quite believe that all of this has been caused by someone who could not control their dog or be aware of their surroundings.”

Mr Steele then spent three years tracking down the person responsible in an attempt to recoup some of the expenses of his rehabilitation.

He eventually found the person responsible, described as a “‘little old woman in her 70s” who was not the owner of the animal, and has successfully settled out of court for £65,000 before a hearing scheduled at Manchester County Court.

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Dianne Yates, of firm Birchall Blackburn Law, which represented Mr Steele, said on the matter: “Retractable leads are popular because they don’t confine dogs, however some extend to 26 feet and being such a distance from their owners can prove hazardous for cyclists, joggers and children.

“Mr Steele’s injuries could have been averted if the owner was in control. Instead, this complete lack of awareness and restraint has had a major impact on Mr Steel’s life. His dizziness and poor balance has meant he has struggled to get back on his bike or play football for fear of further injury.”

  • burttthebike

    The speed of the cyclist is irrelevant: the person in control of the dog has a responsibility to ensure that it does not endanger other people. They failed in that responsibility and paid the cost, but the cyclist will carry the injuries for the rest of their life.

  • burttthebike

    The owner of a dog has a responsibility to ensure that it doesn’t harm other people. The fault is entirely with them.

  • John Westwell

    The fact that the court found in his favour suggests that the judge thought he’d suffered an attack. If it had been deemed to be his fault, he wouldn’t have won his case.

  • Matty1245

    “his injuries would not be that severe if he was going slower.”

    Regardless of forward speed the speed you fall/hit ground is always the same (its about 12mph). Its a mistake to assume speed has any correlation here.

    If you really wish to know why he came out of this so badly his age would be a far bigger culprit.

  • Matty1245

    “The fact that he’s not talking about whether or not he wore a helmet suggests that he wasn’t”

    Are you a cyclist?

  • Matty1245

    “and road bikes can go plenty faster than that.”

    1st off not really. Most keen road cyclists hit about 18-25mph. 30mph down hills or in the pro leagues but not your average cyclist.

    And you’re making a pretty big assumption too. The average speed of a cyclist in the uk is something like 12mph.

    Its like saying everyone in a car should wear full Lewis Hamilton kit because some cars can go at 200mph

  • Matty1245

    ” Anyone who suggests otherwise is either lying or deluded”

    we can argue the finer points of that all day, but on a shared path, away from cars that’s simply nonsense. But by all means show me the proof.

    “You can mitigate that danger, by wearing a helmet. If you choose not to, and sustain head injuries, then you made a mistake.”

    Do you apply that thinking to everything or just cyclists? Do you know for example how many people have head injuries inside the car, or pedestrians hit by cars. Or better yet, how many are killed and harmed by dogs each year?

    “and that wasn’t the dog owner’s decision”

    Victim blaming nonsense.

  • Good point. It just tells you who was expected to make the strongest case in court then.

  • Pedal Er

    I thought the article states that this was settled out of court before the scheduled court hearing.

  • lol he wasn’t attacked by the dog, it just ran across in front of him. It was just the lead that got him. The fact that he’s not talking about whether or not he wore a helmet suggests that he wasn’t. If this happened to me, I’d make sure anyone hearing about it knew that I had one on.

  • Wearing a helmet on a bike is common sense. You wouldn’t travel on a moped at 30mph without a helmet, and road bikes can go plenty faster than that.

  • Cycling is an inherently dangerous activity. Anyone who suggests otherwise is either lying or deluded. You can mitigate that danger, by wearing a helmet. If you choose not to, and sustain head injuries, then you made a mistake. Nobody’s saying it’s completely this guy’s fault, but if he’d worn a helmet, he’d be better off for it, and that wasn’t the dog owner’s decision, it was his.

  • Because a) he’d have had time to react to the dog, and stop safely, and b) his injuries would not be that severe if he was going slower.

  • Actually, that just tells you who made the better case in court.

  • No, but there’s no question (assuming he wasn’t wearing one) that his injuries would be considerably less severe if he’d been wearing a helmet. I think in a public place like that with lots of people around, where you can’t see if there are dogs about to run in front of you, you should slow down, and take some responsibility for your own safety and the safety of others. If that had been a small child instead of a dog, he wouldn’t be the victim, the child would.

  • Pedal Er

    £65,000 settlement tells you where the blame lies. Bloody dog owners think they own the streets!

  • Pedal Er

    OK, a shared path. Therefore dogs must be under control. The £65,00 settlement clearly tells us where the blame was found to be. How on earth do you know the cyclist was going too fast. The injuries sustained are not a clear indication of speed.

  • Cindy Louise H

    thats the problem with cyclist yous think yous are the only ones with rights and its that attitude which causes problems,

  • Cindy Louise H

    sorry your wrong its a shared path not just cyclist theres a velodrome for racing on it is everyones responsibility on shared paths to act with care and he was jointly to blame as well he went to fast to sustain the injuries he got, ya dont get them by crawling along

  • Cindy Louise H

    his injuries suggest he was going far far too fast you don’t get injuries like that by crawling along an really come on you cyclist do go too fast on paths shared an paths yous shouldn’t be on, yeah av seen cyclist hop on the pavements to beat the red lights that they shouldn’t be on yous do know that’s illegal, by the way im not trolling Im just sick of cyclist harrassing me on pavements that they are not allowed on

  • Matty1245

    Good for you. I hope too you wear one walking down stairs, getting on the bath, driving a car.

  • Paul Warren

    It comes as no ‘surprise’ and generally pathetic on here the lame narcissistic retorts to good advice.. Even with the roll out of mandatory organ donation/collection in England and Wales there’s still not enough fresh meat for the transplant teams work .’Roll on in your ways’ and will prob’ be seeing you a ”bloody statistic” some time soon..

  • Roger

    So what? An even more incredible fact from lots of other incidents: 99.9% of all road accidents could be avoided if people never left their homes.

  • Paul Warren

    Iam an ex Snowdonia off-road rider.. south wales taff trail and forest areas now.. I Always use a cycle lid with dash cam too ..some of us do have interests to protect so..

  • SoopDogg

    The court heard ALL of the evidence to which we have not been privy. This settlement would not have been agreed if the cyclist had not deserved it. If he had been to fault in any way, you can bet he wouldn’t have got away with it.

  • John Westwell

    If you look at the story on the LEP website, he’s standing with his bike and a helmet, which suggests he’s making the point that he was wearing one when he was attacked by the dog:

  • Walter Crunch


  • Matty1245

    Do you know something we don’t?

  • Matty1245

    “falling off his BMX stunt bike”

    He was cycling along a promenade, not doing stunts.

    I mean….Lewis Hamilton wears a helmet. I can only assume you do to when you pop down to Sainsbury’s?

  • Matty1245

    He shouldn’t need to wear a helmet. He was in no danger from anyone other than from the dog/owners.

    By all means though blame those attacked by dogs or falling down stairs for not wearing the relevant safety gear though.

  • J1

    The old biddy was probably oblivious to where her dog was or what it was doing, like a lot of dog owners. Her fault.

  • J1

    I love dogs but I’m not averse to unclipping and swinging a leg if one gets a bit too near. So many dogs are poorly trained and it’s the dog that controls the owner, people are too damn lazy to train them up right from a puppy.

    I make a point of being very appreciative when a dog owner moves them and their dog well out of the way into the hedge/ verge, they’re smart enough to see the potential danger (I move over as much as possible too obviously).

    Those super long retractable leads are stupid for a number of reasons, the fact that you can’t control your dog when it’s miles away and another dog is around is one, you don’t know what the other dog is capable of.

  • Paul Warren

    BRAIN MATTER.. dunce –

    1:55, 26 Nov 2015


    11:59, 26 Nov 2015

    Wales News Service

    Christian Tugwell needed life-saving surgery to remove part of his skull after falling off his BMX stunt bike

    Thrill-seeker Christian Tugwell, 18, was riding the stunt bike on a ramp when he fell and smashed his skull on the floor.

    A “vain” teenage cyclist refused to wear a helmet so it wouldn’t mess up his hair was left with an eight-inch scar on his head.

    Tugwell, 18, then had to have half his hair shaved off and was left
    with a massive scar following surgery after suffering life-threatening

    Christian was riding his BMX stunt bike on a ramp when he fell and smashed his skull on the floor.

  • John Westwell

    As the saying goes, lies, damned lies and statistics.

  • David H

    Those are actually drivers and passengers of automobiles.

  • Walter Crunch

    Why does it matter victim blamer?

  • Walter Crunch


  • Paul Warren

    Cant see any mention if he was wearing a helmet – recent quote from another incident : “It’s an incredible fact that the nurses said 90% of patients on the
    neurology ward come in for injuries that could have been prevented if
    the patient were wearing a helmet.”

  • Pedal Er

    No doubt the seafront path was a cycle path. Sadly too many people don’t think about their actions until it’s too late.

  • No one deserves such a thing.

  • MrHaematocrit

    What evidence do you have that he was speeding, the article makes no suggestion of that #DontFeedTheTrolls

  • Damn-Deal-Done

    Speeding down a path with pedestrians on. Ringing his bell instead of slowing down to pass. This man deserved his crash as it was his own fault.