A SAVAGE dog attack on his colleague left a Haringey police officer suffering sleepless nights as he relived the evening.

Police Constable Pete Gilchrist said that in the wake of the brutal assault in Coburg Road on September 1, 2009, he would see fellow officer, PC Scott Tiffin, on the ground as the two pitbull-type dogs sank their teeth into this flesh.

The officer had heard PC Tiffin's anguished cries and came to his aid, screaming at the dogs to get off before getting them both to safety behind a metal fence.

PC Gilchrist said: "I only did what I think anyone in my position would have done. I've never been very good with dogs, but something took over. I was screaming at the dogs and at the owners to get the dogs off.

"The image that kept me awake for nights was when I ran round the corner and saw Scott being thrown around on the floor by the dogs. It was the scariest thing I've been involved in."

The dogs' owners, Mehmet Koc, 19, and Matthew Joannou, 20, both of Newland Road, Hornsey, were jailed for five years on Wednesday for using their dogs as a weapon, and for making no attempts to bring PC Tiffin's ordeal to an end.

Superintendent Chris Barclay, head of operations in Haringey, said the Met was working hard to tackle dangerous dogs and the issues that surround them, including attacks on the public, being used as weapons in gang fights and dog-fighting, which is illegal.

In Match 2009, the Met set up a specialist Status Dogs Unit.

Superintendent Barclay said: "This case demonstrates that where someone uses a dog as a weapon we will do everything in our power to catch them and bring them to justice. If we receive a complaint or intelligence about illegal or potentially dangerous dogs we will investigate and take action.

"All dogs, especially certain breeds, need to be properly managed so they do not become aggressive and it is the responsibility of owners to keep their dogs under control."

He added: "I'm pleased to say that the officers that were attacked have returned to work and are on full operational duties. The fact that they returned so quickly is testament to their dedication to the police service and to the people of Haringey.”

PC Tiffin had just come off-dutyat 4.50am following a long shift at the Notting Hill Carnival, when Koc and Joannou were walking past alongside their two powerful dogs, who were not on leashes.

Joannou shouted: "I am going to get my dog to kill you", before ordering him to attack. His tan dog, a family pet, ripped into the officers's leg, arm, and chest.

Koc's dog, a black pitbull, type then joined in. Neither defendant made any attempts to restrain their animals, the court heard.

The pair made off, but were stopped by patrol officers when their dogs attacked a second officer.

As well as the stiff five-year sentence, the pair have also been banned from owning a dog for ten years and both their animals are due to be put down, in accordance with the Dangerous Dogs Act.

Wood Green Crown Court, in Lordship Lane, heard the pair had been in a previous clash with police where their dogs had been acting aggressively.