£250 compensation is little comfort says dad of two-year-old scarred in dog attack
A dad whose two-year-old daughter was bitten by a Labrador-Collie crossbreed dog has said the £250 he has received in compensation is little comfort.
The dog mauled the toddler when it wandered out of its owner's house in Cambridge in July.
The little girl was nearby with her mum and brother when the dog attacked.
Cambridge Magistrates Court heard that the girl's mum 'saw her daughter had drifted away and the next thing she heard was screaming'.
"She saw the dog attacking the child and biting her face. The child wouldn't stop screaming so they called for an ambulance and were taken to hospital," prosecutor Yetunde Fawehinmi told the court.
The dog's owner Margaret Wright admitted to having a dog who was out of control in a public place, and said the animal had got out of the house as she was saying goodbye to a visitor.
Ms Fawehinmi told the court that the little girl – whose name has not been released – could suffer permanent scarring as a result of the attack.
After the hearing, the child's dad told reporters how he had rushed to his daughter when he heard her screams and had seen her tongue hanging through a rip in her cheek. He said the compensation was little consolation and that the attack had left the child terrified of all animals.
"She's just started nursery and all the kids are asking what has happened to her face," he told the Cambridge News, "I hope the scar will fade away, but when I look at her my heart drops."
Jim Dignan speaking on behalf of Margaret Wright said she was a responsible dog owner and the attack had come out of the blue.
"My client said the dog would not bite a child unless it had reason to do so," he said, adding "The dog had a sore ear and if the child touched the dog's ear then the dog may have reacted to that with a bite."
As well as the £250 compensation to the little girl's family, magistrates also ordered Ms Wright to pay £45 towards legal costs.
The dog, Dobie, was destroyed.