Mum and son jailed after 'savage and sustained' XL bully attack on eight-year-old boy

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Published Time: 14.05.2024 - 00:40:47 Modified Time: 14.05.2024 - 00:40:47

Following the attack in the communal area of a flat block in Bootle, Merseyside, the youngster was rushed to hospital where doctors unsuccessfully tried to reattach his scalp

Following the attack in the communal area of a flat block in Bootle, Merseyside, the youngster was rushed to hospital where doctors unsuccessfully tried to reattach his scalp. Amanda Young, who was jailed for being in charge of the dog, admitted having three or four gins that afternoon.

Monday 13 May 2024 20:47, UK

A mum and son have been jailed after an eight-year-old boy suffered serious injuries in a "savage and sustained" XL bully attack.

Amanda Young, 49, was jailed for 20 months after admitting being the person in charge of a dog which caused injury while dangerously out of control in a public place.

Her son Lewis Young, 30, was given a two-year prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to being the owner.

The boy, who cannot be identified, suffered extensive injuries to his head, face and hands in the attack in the communal area of a block of flats in Bootle, Merseyside, on 10 February, Liverpool Crown Court heard.

The victim was taken to Alder Hey Children's Hospital after the attack and underwent surgery to reattach his scalp but it was unsuccessful.

Amanda later told police she had had three or four gins that afternoon, which may have been double measures, before she looked after the dog, as her son, a delivery driver, was working.

Sentencing, Honorary Recorder of Liverpool Judge Andrew Menary said: "The circumstances of the attack are truly awful.

"The nature of the injuries caused to the young victim, then eight years old, were catastrophic and on any view life changing.

"The events of that day will no doubt haunt the memories of everyone who witnessed the savage and sustained attack by the dog you had decided to keep as a pet."

Charlotte Kenny, prosecuting, said the victim had been at the flats only to play with a friend when he was attacked.

Amanda had left the dog "unrestrained" and "uncontrolled", the court heard, and it had been allowed to wander the communal parts of the flats freely before the attack.

Neighbours tried to pull the dog from the boy, Ms Kenny said.

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One man, Anthony Atkinson, grabbed the dog by the neck to try and stop the attack.

He described the animal latching onto the boy's neck and shoulder area, the court heard.

Other witnesses said the dog was "frothing at the mouth" and shaking the boy's head, the court heard.

The court was also told that the dog was categorised as having substantial features of an XL bully-type dogwith restrictions coming into place at the end of last year over such breeds.

Lewis Young told police he had owned a cloth muzzle, but the dog had chewed through it.

He had said that he was "not sure" if the dog, named Snoop, was an XL bully but had planned to get it tested and that he'd owned it for two or three months after seeing him advertised on Facebook.

In an interview, Lewis Young also told officers that his mother used cocaine and was probably under the influence at the time of the attack.

The young boy also suffered a fracture to his skull, consistent with the dog's tooth penetrating his scalp, the prosecution said.

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Judge Menary said: "This little boy has had multiple surgeries to graft skin to his head. He will be left, on any view, with extensive facial and scalp scarring and profound psychological scarring.

"The injuries are just dreadful."

In a statement, the victim's mother, who was in court with relatives, said her son had to stay in hospital for more than two months and had not yet returned to school.

She said: "He is petrified when he sees a dog and will physically grab his dad's or my hand."

Daniel Travers, defending Lewis Young, said he was "devastated" about the attack.

He added: "He will forever regret what happened and he knows he and his mother were completely to blame for what happened."

Martine Snowdon, defending Amanda Young, said she had mental health difficulties and had volunteered at a community centre.

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