THE owner of a dog that savaged a three-year-old boy in the street and left him with serious injuries has been ordered to pay compensation.
The Staffordshire bull terrier, owned by John Paul Brown, jumped over a wall and locked its jaws on the terrified youngster’s leg.
He was rushed to hospital where he underwent surgery for his injuries. The long-term effects of the attack are not yet known.
The little boy was with an adult in the Park Road area of Hartlepool when the horror unfolded.
The woman tried to lift the boy up when the dog leaped over a grassed area and headed for them.
Brown, 23, admitted a charge of allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control in a public place when he appeared at Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court.
Joanne Hesse, prosecuting, said: “The adult picked up the child to get him out of the way of the dog.
“The child was crying. The dog locked its jaws on to him and bit him severely on the leg.
“A passer by stopped and gave assistance, and the owner of the dog also helped to get it under control.”
Brown handed his dog over to police and it was later destroyed.
The victim suffered six large cuts on his left leg and a puncture wound to his right thigh.
Doctors will not know for another year whether he will be scarred for life.
It is not known if there will be any lasting muscle damage.
Martin Scarborough, mitigating, said: “There was no reason to believe the dog would do what it did.
“He had had it for a few months and there had never been any problems.
“He stayed at the scene and brought it under control.
“He is remorseful and upset about what’s happened, and throughout has been asking how the child was.”
Unemployed Brown, of Elwick Road, Hartlepool, was ordered to pay £500 compensation to the victim.
He was made the subject of a 12 month community order and must do 60 hours unpaid work.
Chairman of the bench Patricia Hutchison said: “This is the maximum amount of compensation that we can order because of your limited means, otherwise it would have been considerably more.