A DOG walker had the top of his finger bitten off in a vicious attack by a bull mastiff outside a pub in St Osyth.

Steve Virgin, 60, was outside the Sailor Boy pub at Hutley’s Caravan Park when the animal launched itself at his ten-year-old dalmatian, called Jack.

He needed emergency surgery at Bromfield Hospital to replace the top of his finger and suffered bite wounds to his hand.

Daughter Nicky Mann said it took police and ambulance crews more than two hours to attend and that officers did not speak to the owner of the bull mastiff.

“My dad was walking back towards the pub to meet my husband when the bull mastiff just ran and leapt at his dog,” she said.

“It left a bad wound in Jack’s back and the vet said he has suffered even worse internal injuries to the muscle.

“The dog then went for my dad and he has puncture wounds to his hand and lost the tip of the ring finger on his right hand."

Essex Police said officers attended the scene, but could not see the dog. Inquiries revealed its owner is currently believed to be in Bedfordshire.

A police spokesman said: “Clacton officers are supporting their colleagues in Colchester as the hunt for the person or people responsible for the murders continues and we would hope people appreciate this.

“At the time of the attack, officers attended a nearby caravan site where the man had been staying and obtained an initial statement before then pursuing enquiries in order to identify a possible owner for the dog.”

The investigation into the June 22 attack is continuing. Anyone with information should call Clacton police on 101.