Boy al­most blinded by dog

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Front Page - By STEPHEN BRIGGS stephen.briggs@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk @Pt­stephenb

A CHILD came mil­lime­tres away from be­ing blinded af­ter be­ing at­tacked by a dog in his gar­den.

Five-year-old James Martin was play­ing foot­ball with his brother on Tues­day at his home in Huns­bury Close, Whit­tle­sey.

When he went to pick the ball up from the other side of the fence the Labrador cross breed, owned by the next door neigh­bour, jumped up and bit him on the face, cut­ting him un­der the eye and mouth.

The New Road Pri­mary School pupil suf­fered four punc­ture marks to his face, in­clud­ing one just mil­lime­tres from his right eye.

The dog has now been re­moved by the neigh­bour and is be­ing looked af­ter by a new owner in Mil­ton Keynes.

Since the at­tack, Ac­cent Nene Hous­ing has also re­placed the fenc­ing

James’ fa­ther, Colin said: “We have been re­port­ing the dog to Nene Hous­ing be­fore this in­ci­dent. It is a dan­ger­ous dog and this shows it. My son is lucky not to have been nearly blinded.”

Michelle, James’ mother, added: “We have been ask­ing for the fence to be re­placed since De­cem­ber.

“It has now been re­placed since the at­tack but this is too lit­tle, too late.

“My son is very lucky he has not been blinded.

“He has been back out in the gar­den but he won’t go near the fence.

“We have seen the dog play­ing with chil­dren next door and we don’t know what hap­pened on Tues­day. It seems like James was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“But it shows all dogs can bite, not just the ones on the dan­ger­ous dog list, like Stafford­shire Bull Ter­ri­ers.

“The doc­tor has said James could have a per­ma­nent scar un­der his lip.”

The owner of the dog, who wished to re­main anony­mous, said the in­ci­dent was com­pletely out of char­ac­ter for the pet.

She said: “The dog has never done any­thing like this be­fore. We have had him since he was born two years ago. He will bark at peo­ple but he has never at­tacked any­one. We used to have the dog’s mother as well, un­til she died a year ago.

“This was com­pletely out of char­ac­ter. I don’t know what set him off. The boy asked for his ball back and the dog jumped up.

“I feel re­ally bad for what bit­ten: James Martin (5) and dad Colin, af­ter James was bit­ten by a neigh­bour’s dog. (METP-23-05-12AS059) hap­pened. It should not have hap­pened. As a mother my­self I un­der­stand what the fam­ily feel.

“I have grand­chil­dren over all the time and I would never have a dog I thought was dan­ger­ous in the house.

“Al­most as soon as the in­ci­dent hap­pened, the dog was gone.”

Picture: ALAN STORER.

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