A LITTLE BOY suffered horrific facial injuries when he was ravaged by a dog as he attempted to use the bathroom at a friend’s house.
Four-year-old Leon Lawlor lost part of his lip when he was attacked by a staggering Duke at the home of owner David Thorley Stoke on Trent.
Thorley, 30, has now been spared a prison sentence after admitting to being the owner of a dog that was dangerously out of control and causing injuries.
A court has sentenced him to pay Leon just £250 in damages.
The student had been playing in a paddling pool with his friend on August 1, 2020 when he was bitten while going to the bathroom.
Prosecutor Alexander Barnfield told a Crown Court the youth suffered “significant” facial injuries. the Stoke Warden reports.
“The child was shown the downstairs toilet in the utility room. The door was ajar,” he said.
“The child was in the utility room getting ready to use the toilet when the dog attacked and bit his face.
“Thorley heard the disturbance and distress and intervened and immediately took the child to his parents.”
Surgeons sewed up Leon’s right eyelid and mouth after the bite.
Police examined the dog the next day – but the officer had “no concerns” about the animal’s behavior, and Duke has had multiple owners since.
Thorley, now from Blurton, said the dog had never behaved aggressively and he had no reason to believe anything would happen.
Steve Hennessy said mitigatingly that the defendant felt “regret and remorse” as a father of three.
Thorley’s fourth child is due in August, sources said.
Mr Hennessy said: “He always accepted that the dog caused the injury.
“He was immediately remorseful to the child’s parents and the dog was immediately removed from the area so they wouldn’t have to see him again.”
As part of his sentence, the defendant must complete a five-day rehab activity commitment and 60 hours of unpaid work.
Stoke Crown Court Judge Graeme Smith said: “A neighbour’s four-year-old son was attacked by your dog Duke. He suffered significant and serious injuries. He had to be treated in the hospital.
“It’s clear that this was very out of character for Duke.
“There is no evidence of any previous incidents and there was no particular cause for concern in the police assessment.
I am angry and shocked… we want to put the dog down, he could do this to another child
“It was her fault for allowing the child to be in a confined area with Duke without proper supervision.”
But Leon’s furious mum Chloe said she was left “heartbroken” by the attack.
“I was angry and shocked” she said in an interview at the time.
“The police have asked us what we want to do with the dog and whether we want to prosecute the owners or euthanize the dog.
“We said we want to have the dog prosecuted and euthanized for the injuries inflicted on my son.
“I saw the dog walking down the street at my property the next day and wasn’t happy.
“The police should have done a lot more. If she could do this to Leon, she could do it to another child.”
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/18216901/boy-four-attacked-lurcher-dog-stoke-police/ The 4-year-old boy was attacked by a dog as he went to the toilet as the owner was fined for horrific abuse