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Owner of dog that attacked and injured Dagenham boy, 11, sentenced

Friday, January 11, 2013
2:47 PM

The owner of a dog who ferociously attacked and injured an 11-year-old boy in Dagenham was handed a suspended prison sentence.

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Gareth Lawrence’s Bull Mastiff jumped over garden fences on October 13 and went for three children who had been trampolining in a back garden three doors down.

Two of the boys, aged 10 and 11, managed to run away and escaped with scratches. But the mutt jumped on top of the third boy, All Saints student Dylan Pope, and bit into his back and then deep into his left arm. The youngster, who is now 12, spent three days in hospital and is still undergoing treatment to his arm.

At Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (January 9) Lawrence, of Sheppey Road, Dagenham, pleaded guilty of being the owner of an animal that caused an aggravated dog bite upon a child, Scotland Yard said.

A statement from the Met Police said Lawrence received a 12 week custodial sentence suspended for 12 months and ordered to undertake 120 hours of unpaid work in the community, pay compensation to the boy of £1,000 as well as £85 court costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

The 32-year-old was also banned from owning or keeping a dog for five years.

The court issued a dog destruction order giving Barking and Dagenham Police permission to destroy the Bull Mastiff.

Barking and Dagenham Police wildlife officer Sergeant Ian Lee said: “This was a ferocious attack which was petrifying for the boys and left one youngster with serious injuries.

“The number of dog attacks on people has risen in the past couple of years, which is worrying. However we are working hard to prevent further incidents. For example we will be holding road shows to encourage people to report attacks and dangerous dogs to police so we can take action.”

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