XL Bully leaves 10-year-old scarred for life in terrifying attack

The incident occurred in Emlyn Avenue, Ebbw Vale
-Credit: (Image: Google)

An XL Bully attacked a 10-year-old boy and scarred him for life after escaping from an unlocked gate. The owner's mother was unable to control the dog as it "ragged" the boy about the garden.

The dog, named Gucci, was owned by Lewis Williams, 23, and was kept at the home he shared with his mother in Ebbw Vale. Last summer the victim attended the defendant's home in Emlyn Avenue wearing a bike helmet.

A sentencing hearing at Newport Crown Court heard the victim noticed a dog jumping over a side gate. He described Gucci as "angry, vicious, and feisty". The dog jumped up and bit the child's neck with the victim describing the beast "ragging" him around the garden.

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Prosecutor Mari Watkins said the child was also bitten on the chin, arm, and under his armpit. Williams' mother tried to calm the dog down but failed to placate him. The victim managed to push the dog down and ran away from the property. Ms Watkins said: "The child was scared and in pain as a result of this incident. The child's father saw blood across his face and realised the severity of the situation."

The victim was taken to the Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil crying and with blood on his face and hands. He was also found to have suffered two bite marks to his wrist, multiple puncture wounds to the palm of his right hand, and bruises. He received medical treatment for wounds and deep lacerations and underwent an operation as well as attending three outpatient appointments.

Police attended the house and described Williams as "irate" and not understanding why the police were there. He refused to hand over the dog voluntarily. The defendant later posted on social media: "Everyone who knows me knows I have got a very large dog. A sign on the property is clearly visible from the entrance to the garden: 'If you choose to enter the property you enter at your own risk'. When I am present I can control my dog. If you needlessly walk through the gate and ever tend to my dog you do so at your own risk. That's what the sign is for."

Williams was interviewed and accepted being Gucci's owner but passed blame on the victim saying the dog attacked him because his face was covered and claimed he had hit the dog. Gucci was examined and found to be an XL Bully – a breed which has been banned as of February this year.

The defendant later pleaded guilty to being the owner of a dog dangerously out of control and causing injury. The court heard he was of previous good character. The court heard Gucci had been kept in kennels since the attack at a cost of around £15,000.

In a victim personal statement the child's mother said: "As a result of this incident [the victim] has suffered nightmares and sleepless nights about the dog attack. He has lost confidence around dogs. He always liked dogs but he is worried now of large dogs... He is suffering with anxiety and depression and is having therapy. He has started PTSD treatment this week." As a result of the attack the victim's mother said he had expressed a wish not to return to school.

In mitigation William Bebb said his client was "under no illusion" this was a serious offence and he was at risk of being sent to prison. The defence barrister said: "He loves that dog very much and has never witnessed it being violent in the past." The court heard Williams was in debt and was currently receiving benefits after having to leave an engineering course due to suffering injuries in an accident. Mr Bebb added: "He has kept dogs all his life and loves dogs but he has the insight to recognise this dog constitutes something which is a danger to public safety."

Sentencing Recorder David Payne said the defendant had shown "little discernible empathy" or remorse towards his victim, but recognised there was a realistic prospect of rehabilitation in his case. Williams was sentenced to six months imprisonment suspended for 12 months and was ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work. Recorder Payne ordered the "humane destruction" of Gucci. He also prohibited Williams from owning a dog for three years and ordered him to pay £1,000 in compensation to the victim.

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