A FIVE-YEAR-OLD boy has been left scarred on his face for life after being attacked by a dog.
Blackpool magistrates heard how the Staffordshire bull terrier type of dog attacked Luke Ferguson as he was going to stroke the pet.
The dog’s jaws clamped on to the youngster’s face tearing away a flap of skin and leaving bite marks around the boy’s eye. The court heard how surgeons need to carry out four hours of work on Luke’s face to try to rectify the damage.
But the young boy will have nerve damage and scarring for the rest of his life.
The 26-year-old owner of the dog, Dale O’Connor, of Kent Street, Blackpool, admitted being in charge of the animal which was dangerously out of control when he appeared in court.
Tracey Yates, prosecuting, told the court how O’Connor was walking two dogs on leads on August 2 this year.
Two boys – one of them Luke – who had been playing near their homes in Princess Street went to talk to O’Connor and Luke tried to stroke one of the animals.
The animal turned on him and sunk its teeth into his face.
Miss Yates added: “O’Connor tried to stop the attack using the dog’s lead as a whip but the lead broke and the dog ran off.
“Sadly the boy wounds mean he will be scarred for life.”
When interviewed by police O’Connor would not comment.
His lawyer Paul Robinson told the court: “This dog was a well behaved family pet which had not done anything like this before.
“The dog had been with children before and there have never been any concerns about its behaviour.”
He said the dog had escaped and not been recaptured.
Mr Robinson said his client realised the dog had caused extensive injuries to the boy.
His client had had the animal for six months without any problems, he added.
O’Connor was given 12 months’ supervision and ordered to pay the boy £500 compensation.