‘Horrified’ dog owner sentenced over attack on two-year-old girl

The attack left the girl with permanent scarring and led to the mother rehoming their own dog due to a newfound fear brought on by the attack.

The owner of a dog which attacked a two-year-old girl as she played in a garden has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Lee Lewis, of Ashley Road in St Pauls, received the six-month suspended sentence, plus a restraining order and curfew, at Bristol Crown Court today (September 6) over the incident involving his Staffordshire Bull Terrier last year.

A decision on whether or not the dog, named Marney, should be destroyed has been adjourned - allowing for further advice from the police.

Bristol Crown Court heard how the dog attacked the young girl in a communal garden. Judge Julian Lambert said Lewis had been ‘wholly irresponsible’ to leave ‘that type of dog’ unattended around a child.

Emily Evans, prosecuting, told the courtroom that the victim and her mother had been traumitised by the attack with the daughter regularly suffering nightmares; waking up and screaming ‘dog bite head, bad dog’.

The two-year-old girl’s mother also told the court she had rehomed her own dog after the incident and now has a fear of dogs.

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Matthew Comber, defending Lewis, explained how the defendant was ‘horrified’ at what his pet had done.

Lewis and the victim’s mother both acknowledged that Marney had spent time with the girl prior to the attack which left a puncture wound on her cheek along with ‘multiple’ shallow puncture wounds.

Judge Lambert added: “Dogs are unpredictable around children. You (Lewis) should have known that.”

Lewis, who pleaded guilty to being in charge of a dog that was dangerously out of control, causing injury at an earlier hearing, was sentenced to six-months imprisonment, suspended for two years, given a restraining order preventing any contact with the victim and her family and given a 9pm - 4.30am curfew.

Lewis’ dog will remain in a kennell until a ruiling is made on whether a destruction order is to be carried out.