Deaf postman too scared to deliver letters after attack by dog


duffyforwebA DEAF and mute postman locked himself away in fear after he was attacked twice by a dog while the owner just stood and watched.

Graham Duff was bitten nearly two weeks ago when a large collie-cross lunged at him while out delivering mail last week.

The dog launched itself at the mail worker after ferociously barking at him but Graham was oblivious to the danger because of his inability to hear.

The postie, from Inverkeithing in Fife, has worked at Royal Mail for four years and has formally complained after being too “frightened” to carry out his job.

Graham, a keen chess and poker player, has also attracted the backing of Scotland’s most attacked postman, Garry Haldane, who was injured 15 times in 12 years.

Communicating via text message, Graham – who was born deaf – wrote: “I was attacked unexpectedly and the owner was only a short distance away.

“I tried to shout to the owner to collect the dog but it got behind me and bit my right leg.”



After composing himself from the terrifying ordeal Graham tried to approach the owner while being accompanied by a colleague – only to be attacked a second time.

He added: “We approached the front door to ask why she hadn’t kept the dog inside.

“When we knocked the lady opened [the door] and the let the dog out again – the witness was trying to control it as it was trying to bite me again.

“The owner and the witness argued for a few minutes – I still don’t know what they were talking about.”

The latest statistics for Fife show there were 30 dog attacks on postal workers in the last year.

Graham, 29, continued: “The dog caught me on my right leg underneath my buttock.

“There was a lot of bruising. It’s caused me a lot of pain.”

He added: “It ripped right through my work trousers about three or four inches through.

“It’s not easy to do my job as I can’t hear when a dog is approaching me. I was walking alongside a big bush and the dog just came out at me unexpectedly.”

He explained that this was not the first time he has been bitten by a dog while working as a postie.

He said: “I have been bitten four times before but this one was the worst.

“I was bitten before between 2008 and 2009 while I worked from the Dundee office.

“Those bites all left me with bruises.”

Since the attack Mr Duffy has been too scared to go back to his normal rounds at work.

He said: “I am currently working indoors doing work in Dunfermline as I am still too scared to go out delivering past houses.”

He added: “I’m not sure what’s happening with the dog that attacked me. I didn’t even get an apology from the owner. I’m still waiting to hear from the police but I think the owners will be charged.“

Mr Duffy explained that he wants owners to now realise how serious attacks on postmen are and that action needs to be taken.



He said: “I want owners to be charged for their reckless behaviour and for not controlling their pets.

“I want to try and get everyone aware of how postmen and women want to be safe when doing their jobs, not scared of being attacked.

“Owners should make sure their dogs are tied up and communicate better with posties.”

In September last year Garry Haldane, Communication Worker’s Union representative for Dunfermline, spoke of the terror’s faced by postman across Scotland.

He needed several hospital trips for stitches and tetanus shots following attacks by dogs and even a cat.

Garry was empathetic with Graham’s attack and said: “With Graham being deaf and mute he didn’t hear the dog barking and carried on.

“He was trying to get the owner to get the dog in when it bit him – the owner eventually took the dog in and shut the door.

“They approached the door but it got out again – he couldn’t go out for a few days because he was so scared.

“More precautions need to be put in place. This is about owners not having their dog under control.”



Fife Police said they were investigating a complaint lodged by a postman following an incident on January 19 this year.

A Royal Mail spokeswoman said: “There are around 4,000 animal attacks a year in the UK on Royal Mail people. These attacks cause great distress and in too many cases serious injuries.

“Unfortunately, dog attacks are a hazard faced by our postmen and women every working day. Our first priority as an employer is to ensure the welfare and safety of our people, who provide a valuable service to our customers.

“Royal Mail seeks the co-operation of our customers and we encourage the public to take responsibility for keeping their pets under control.

“Royal Mail will actively pursue legal action or support our people in taking legal action against the owners of dangerous dogs.”