Woman grabbed by the throat twice in violent attack in Royston

The woman was attacked in Melbourn Road

The woman was attacked in Melbourn Road - Credit: Archant

A woman has been left shaken after being attacked in Royston for letting her dog off the lead.

The 36-year-old supply chain specialist, who does not want to be named, went out to walk her collie cross whippet at about 11.25pm on Saturday night, after an evening watching the England rugby match at the pub, followed by pizza at her friend’s house.

She had let the dog off the lead on Melbourn Road, and heard a group of four people, two men and two women, shouting something to the dog.

The dog ran across the road and the owner called him back. When the dog returned to her, she grabbed on to his collar, but he slipped out.

Members of the group then shouted at her, saying the dog didn’t have a collar on.

The group crossed over towards her, and then one of the men grabbed her throat, swearing at her and saying she was ‘irresponsible.’

The other people in the group did nothing to stop him.

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She said: “I hit back at him in self defence. He then grabbed me round the throat again, repeating the insult, and I managed to fight him off again.”

As the victim fled, the man shouted that he was ‘going to kill’ her.

The victim, who was luckily wearing a big scarf so didn’t sustain any bruising, is appealing to witnesses – two groups in their cars, who saw the attack and helped her afterwards.

She then ran into The Boars Head pub where her husband was having a drink, and the pair saw a police car which then toured the area but could not find anyone matching the description.

Landlord of the pub, Matthew Brazier, said: “The victim and her husband are both regular customers. Her dog is a placid and well behaved animal who often comes to the pub with them. She was very shaken on Saturday night and came in for a hot drink to help calm her nerves after the incident, as her husband went to help her and brought her back into the pub.

“I was very worried to hear about this as she is a lovely young lady and most pleasant and caring so it was sad to see her upset like this.”

The victim would like to warn other people, as she said, she is in total shock that such an event happened in Royston.

She is urging others to not walk around by themselves at night, to avoid a similar attack.

She said: “My dog is so friendly, and I can’t believe the man’s reaction. He must have done something similar before. The whole group were in their mid-to-late 40s. I am trying to not to think about it too much, it was a really violent attack.”

A spokeswoman for Herts police said: “We received a report that a woman was assaulted and threatened as she walked her dog in Melbourn Road, Royston, on Saturday evening.

“The woman was walking along the road at around 11.25pm when a group of people, who were standing on the opposite side of the road, reportedly called the dog over to them.

“The owner was subsequently assaulted and verbally threatened.”

Investigations to establish the circumstances surrounding the incident are continuing and anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101.