Man denied owning dog which attacked
Five-year-old boy scarred for life by animal obtained free on Facebook
A BOY of five was scarred for life by a bulldog which its owner had got for free on Facebook.
He suffered a jagged laceration on his face, three puncture wounds to his cheek, a cut to his ear, abrasions to his abdomen and back as well as injuries to his foot when Shaun Carr’s animal attacked.
A court heard the youngster had reconstructive surgery but has been left with permanent facial scarring.
In an effort to evade responsibility, Carr then dumped the dog and claimed it belonged to someone else - leading to another man being questioned by police.
The 50-year-old later confessed to being the owner of a dog which caused injury while dangerously out of control, and attempting to pervert the course of justice, and has now been jailed at Newcastle Crown Court.
Carr, of Honeysuckle Avenue, South Shields, who was visibly upset during the case, got a total of 16 months imprisonment - four months for the dog offence plus 12 months on top for the attempted cover up.
Recorder Darren Preston told him: “You let this unknown dog, a dog you had barely spent any time with at all and of which you knew very little, be in the house with him.
“He suffered nasty injuries to his face in particular, to his body and his feet.
“He had to have reconstructive surgery, spent two days in hospital, has had surgery since and will have permanent scarring.
“I accept this was a brief event caused by a lack of judgement on your behalf, rather than anything more sinister.”
The judge said Carr told “calculated lies” to shift blame after the attack and added: “That was despicable and frankly is unforgivable.
“You made the position so much worse by telling the lies that you did. It’s often said the cover-up is worse than the crime.
“What you did was unconscionable given the injuries that had been caused.”
Prosecutor Michael Bunch told the court the attack happened at a house in South Shields.
Mr Bunch said: ”He was attacked by a dog the defendant had recently acquired, for free, from Facebook.
“The defendant provided officers with an account that the boy had been attacked by an unknown dog, in the front garden.”
Mr Bunch said Carr later claimed he had been told that the dog belonged to another man.
Mr Bunch said: “The result of that was that man and another male who lived at his address were interviewed and they each denied owning the dog.”
The court heard it was three days after the attack Carr admitted he owned the dog and consented to it being destroyed.
The victim’s mother expressed the distress the attack had caused her and her son.
Lewis Kerr, defending, said Carr stepped in straight away to stop the attack.
He said Carr’s “gut reaction” had been to get the dog out of the house and away from the child.
Mr Kerr added: “He is being treated for depression. He will lose his home and employment if he goes to custody. Shaun Carr was jailed for a total of 16 months