Little boy viciously maimed by pit bull while playing on swing with screaming mom
The 17-month-old was attacked by the illegal dog breed while playing in a park with his mother in Netherton, Merseyside. The little boy was airlifted to hospital and was marked for life
Image: Echo of Liverpool)
Baby was mutilated by pit bull while playing on a swing with mother in park, court heard /
The dog – whose breed is banned in the UK – sunk its teeth into the 17-month-old’s thigh.
The child, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was airlifted to hospital from Marian Gardens in Netherton, Merseyside. He was scarred for life by the attack.
Michael Peterson admitted to being in charge of the dog, called Hooch, when he was dangerously out of control, causing injury, Liverpool Echo reports.
The 32-year-old, who ran to remove the animal from the baby, said he believed Hooch to be a legal Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
Echo of Liverpool)
He was also walking another dog – his girlfriend’s mongrel called Ghost – and said he “temporarily” let Hooch get rid of his leash after the two dogs’ leashes got “tangled,” with Ghost’s. “wrapped around her legs”.
Liverpool Crown Court heard the boy was playing in the park with his mother around lunchtime on Sunday February 7 this year.
Prosecutor Katy Appleton said the mother spotted a large brown dog walking through a door into the play area and lifting the swing so her baby was out of the way.
But the dog jumped up and bit her son’s right thigh, gripping her leg, as she screamed and Peterson ran to Hooch and pulled him.
The mother saw blood on her baby’s leg and a screaming woman said she called an ambulance, which arrived and took the boy to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, where he underwent surgery .
The baby had suffered 2cm x 2cm and 1cm x 1cm lacerations to the thigh, but surgery revealed that the skin between the two cuts was tearing and the wound was larger than previously thought. departure, with two additional puncture wounds.
Echo of Liverpool)
Mrs Appleton said it was nine o’clock [out of 13] on the Vancouver scar scale, “severe scarring levels” are expected to improve over the next two to three years, “but the scars will unfortunately be permanent.”
The baby’s mother said her son was recovering, but was badly affected and had flashbacks.
She said, “Now I won’t take the kids to the park on my own because I’m afraid it will happen again.”
When questioned by police, Peterson said he took Hooch from his owner, a friend called Bradley, because Bradley couldn’t take care of him. He explained that he thought Hooch was a Staffy and that he was “very sorry” for what had happened.
Peterson said he usually never lets Hooch and the White Bastard Ghost take the lead in areas where it is allowed.
The court heard that the dog’s owner would face future legal action before the magistrates.
Peterson, of Westminster Avenue, Bootle, has already been convicted of two “dissimilar” offenses.
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Defending Stella Hayden said Peterson was “devastated” and “wholeheartedly apologized” to the victim and his family.
She said: “It was something that deeply affected him.”
Ms Hayden said Peterson’s friend told her that Hooch was a member of staff when he took care of the emaciated pet out of concern for his welfare.
She said he took Hooch to a vet, who also said he was a Staffy and a “lovable dog,” and Peterson had never seen him show any aggressive signs, nor did the police when they evaluated the dog later.
The attorney said Peterson was walking the two dogs on appropriate leashes and collars when one of them got “tangled” and he let Hooch go “temporarily”.
She said he “ran for his life” to intervene when Hooch attacked the baby and “did all he could to stop the incident,” then helped the police.
Echo of Liverpool)
Ms Hayden said there was no connection between what happened and Peterson’s bipolar affective disorder, but the incident affected his mental health and he was subsequently hospitalized.
She said he had a stable home and supportive family, including his mother, who attended his interview as a suitable adult and manages his benefits.
Ms Hayden said the probation service believed Peterson “would have a lot of trouble” in jail and “little result would be obtained” by incarcerating him.
She said his girlfriend no longer had a dog and that Peterson had no plans to own one in the future.
The judge, recorder Ian Unsworth, QC, said Hooch was “undoubtedly dangerous” and a “forbidden dog” whose destruction would be considered by the magistrates, while they “would undoubtedly take into account the horrors which hit “the victim.
He said: âSuch animals are forbidden dogs – as happened. They can kill people.
Echo of Liverpool)
“Anyone who stood in Marian Gardens in Netherton that day, as I have said before, the horror that befell the victim could have feared the worst outcome.”
Recorder Unsworth said that after letting the dog free, Peterson saw Hooch grasp his teeth in the baby’s thigh, adding, “You will have to live with this memory for the rest of your life.”
He said to Peterson’s credit that he had tried to help, but the scars would be permanent.
The judge said: “The victim will thankfully have no recollection of what happened to him that day, as he was just trying to enjoy the swings with his mother, but he will have a permanent reminder every time he does. he will look at his leg. “
Recorder Unsworth said Peterson “suffered from mental health issues” and “a great many difficulties in life,” and the probation service believed incarcerating him would be “totally unproductive, not only for your interests, but for your benefit. society as a whole “.
He sentenced him to eight months in prison, suspended for 12 months, with a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement.