Woman banned from keeping dogs after pet broke boy’s arm with its bite

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A Northampton woman has been banned from keeping dogs for three years after her pet broke a schoolboy’s arm in two places.

The attack by the Staffordshire bull terrier happened when the 12-year-old was out walking with his own dogs on November 3 last year.

A court was told the schoolboy was left physically and mentally scarred after the animal turned on him in a park.

He was left with two golf-ball sized wounds to his left arm and had to undergo extensive surgery to have two metal rods inserted into his lower arm.

Kelly Farrell, of Melbury Lane, Blackthorn, was ordered to pay £1,500 compensation and banned from owning or looking after a dog for three years. A court has now ordered that the dog, which was described as a “loving family pet”, should be destroyed.

Farrell pleaded guilty to being the owner of a dog dangerously out of control that caused injury to another person at an earlier hearing. The incident happened in a park in Smethwick, West Midlands.

The 36-year-old was ordered to pay £1,500 compensation to the boy’s family by Sandwell Magistrates’ Court. JPs also sentenced her to 120 hours of unpaid work .

Prosecutor Mark Cooper told the court the dog had not been acting aggressively but said its nature suddenly changed when they arrived at a children’s play area.

JPs heard how Tom Willets, a passer-by who came to the boy’s rescue after he saw him punching the dog, was also bitten.

In total two members of the public stopped the dog after it attacked the boy twice.

One eventually stopped it using his bicycle. Mr Cooper said: “The boy’s family say he has been mentally scarred and has been having nightmares.”

The court was told that police had started to assess the dog but could not complete the tests due to the dog’s level of aggression so recommended it should be destroyed.

Defending Farrell, Dawn Foxall said: “Mrs Farrell admits she had made a fatal mistake and an error of judgement letting others take the dog for a walk that day.”

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was on the operating table for seven hours and spent three days in hospital.

The muscle was torn from between the bones of his forearm and the bones themselves were broken in two places.

He is now unable to move his left thumb properly and will several more bouts of surgery when he is older.

His grandmother told the Chron: “He said he thought he was going to die.

“He still finds it difficult to sleep at night and he’s completely lost the trust between him and his own dogs. We’re very glad it’s now been destroyed.”