Boy scarred for life after being savaged by bulldog that owner got for free from Facebook

Shaun Carr
Shaun Carr

A pet owner is behind bars after a bulldog he got for free from Facebook savaged a child.

The young victim suffered a jagged laceration on his face, puncture wounds to his cheek, a cut to his ear, abrasions to his abdomen and back as well as injuries to his foot and neck when Shaun Carr's animal attacked.

The boy was taken to South Tyneside District Hospital, in South Shields, after he was bitten and later transferred to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.

He had reconstructive surgery during two days in hospital and has been left with permanent facial scarring.

Newcastle Crown Court heard after the injuries were inflicted to the boy, Carr, 50, dumped the dog and claimed it belonged to someone else.

As a result, another man was questioned on suspicion of being the owner of the animal.

Carr, of Honeysuckle Avenue, South Shields, later admitted being the owner of a dog which caused injury while dangerously out of control and perverting the course of justice.

Mr recorder Preston sentenced him to 16 months behind bars.

The judge told him: "You let this unknown dog, a dog you had barely spent anytime 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, his neck and his feet.

"He had to have reconstructive surgery, spent two days in hospital, has had surgery since and will have permanent scarring."

The judge told Carr, who was visibly distressed in the court dock: "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: "You made the position so much worse by telling the lies that you did."

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.

Lewis Kerr, defending, said Carr already owned a dog of the same breed and had no suspicion that it would attack.

Mr Kerr said what happened was "traumatic and terrible" and Carr, who works long hours at two jobs, 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.

The case was heard at Newcastle Crown Court

The case was heard at Newcastle Crown Court