A DOG looked "crazy" in the eyes, before it lunged at a housing officer and bit her in a "horrific attack", a court heard.

Brighton and Hove City Council housing officer Cheryl Moss had been visiting the home of tenant Donna Stepney, 37, in Woodingdean, to address complaints about barking, before she was bitten by a large rottweiler cross bull mastiff called Buddy.

Ms Moss was left permanently scarred in the attack.

His owner Stepney is now on trial at Lewes Crown Court accused of being in charge of dangerous dog out of control causing injury.

Yesterday the court heard Ms Moss and an RSPCA inspector had visited the home in Ravenswood Drive.

They were there over concerns from neighbours about barking on May 17 2017.

The prosecution claims Stepney opened Buddy’s dog pen at her own accord, before it attacked the housing officer who was sitting on the sofa in the living room

Giving evidence Ms Moss said: “We were discussing complaints with Stepney about the noise and coming and goings, then after a while buddy got on the sofa and sniffed my face and ear.

“A few minutes later he was back on the sofa and started to snarl and bark. At that point I looked into his face and his eyes looked crazy.

“I remember him being on me and put my arm up to my face.

“It was so horrific and it was blind panic. He was on me and the pain was bad.”

She added: “After getting out the door, I was aware I was savaged by a dog on my shoulder. His jaws and teeth were on me.”

Ms Moss ended up going to hospital and had to take antibiotics. She said she was permanently scarred.

The court also heard from RSPCA inspector Elizabeth Miller who said the dog seemed more nervous compared to a previous visit, and was being kept in a cage to small for its size.

She denied the defence’s claim that she had instructed Stepney to let Buddy out of his cage.

Taking the stand, Stepney who described the dog as her best friend, said she was told to let him out.

She told the court: “I can not remember her exact word but she did ask to see buddy out the cage, then I took him out. RSPCA have authority to take the dog from me, so as she was a person in authority, I did what I had to do.”

She said three-year-old Buddy had only acted the way he did, because Ms Moss had raised her hand, and he was protecting her after previously seeing her being attacked.

She added: “I was in shock to be honest. I was not expecting anything to happen.

“I being his owner I felt responsible but only because I was asked to, otherwise I would have let him stay in the cage for the ten minutes they were there.

Stepney of Ravenswood Drive, Brighton, has pleaded not guilty to one count of being an owner in charge of a dog dangerously out of control causing injury.

The trial continues.