The worried parents of a young boy who was badly bitten by a dangerous dog fear the American Bull breed could strike again after a court opted not to destroy the pet.
Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard during a civil hearing this week how Nicola Perrins’ dog Missy attacked Mark Holmes’ seven-year-old son Callum at her home on Kingsley Avenue, Grangewood, Chesterfield.
Mr Holmes had been visiting his brother Paul who is Ms Perrins’ partner when the dog attacked Callum in Ms Perrins’ doorway, knocking him to the ground and biting him on the buttocks.
Magistrates established Ms Perrins’ dog was out of control and presented a danger but only imposed an order for the dog to be kept leashed and muzzled in public and chose not to order its destruction.
Mark Holmes said: “I’m disgusted. This ruling doesn’t bring peace. I feel let down. This dog bit Callum and dragged him across the ground. If it had bitten him in the neck he could have died. I’m worried it will only be a matter of time before this dog causes serious injury or worse to another child. I’m concerned it’s going to hurt one of Nicola’s children.”
Callum suffered a bloody, gaping cut and pinhole wounds, according to Mark Holmes, and the youngster was given antibiotics but did not receive stitches because a sealed wound may have kept in any infection.
His mother Katie Buxton stated Callum had suffered with a very painful wound and had been left with nightmares. In a statement, she added: “I’m not happy that this dog could bite anyone else and I would like this dog to be destroyed.”
Mark Holmes, who argued Callum was savaged with his clothes ripped, claimed Missy had once gone for him, his sister Susan Marsh claimed Missy had growled at her and their mother Maureen told how one of Ms Perrins’ two dogs had had to be restrained during a visit. Ms Perrins, who has five children and another American Bull breed called Milo, claimed her front door had been opened and Callum was stepping in as Missy went towards him and he screamed before he was bitten.
She said her partner Paul pushed the dog off.
Ms Perrins, who claimed Missy was not out of control or dangerous, and Paul Holmes said there had been no other incidents involving her dogs.
She said: “These dogs are ever so good. They play together and share the same bed. They are brilliant with the children. They’re loving and like to play and be stroked.”
However, magistrates found Ms Perrins was the owner of a dog that was dangerous and not kept under control after the attack on May 25, last year. They accepted a police application for an order and stated Missy be kept on a lead and be muzzled in public.
Magistrates were reassured that a fence and safety chain had been installed and ruled it was not necessary for Missy to be destroyed. Ms Perrins must pay £200 in legal costs.