A dog owner said ‘it’s her own fault’ after a young girl was thrown around like a rag doll by her pitbull.
Tillie Vasey, four, still needs surgery after being mauled by Dawn Holt’s pitbull Caesar as she played with friends in a garden.
Holt insisted ‘my dog didn’t bite her, he clawed her to get away’ as she tried to shift the blame for what happened.
She narrowly avoided jail but Judge Simon Newell hit out at her ‘wholly irresponsible’ reaction to the attack that could easily have killed the little girl.
Tillie had to undergo nine hours of surgery immediately after the attack, has had another two rounds of surgery and still needs more.
A court heard that there was ‘no way’ that Tillie’s injuries were caused simply through being clawed.
Judge Newell told Holt as he handed her a suspended sentence: ‘Children have no discriminations, their knowledge and experience is terribly limited. A lot of children who see a dog want to touch the dog, play with the dog.
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‘They can behave in an improper way to the dog, entirely innocently. When you’re leaving them with small children you’ve got to be there.’
Tillie suffered a fractured skull in the attack which Holt insisted as a result of her hitting a tree stump as she fell.
She also had a torn tear duct, scars on her head and puncture wounds around her eyes.
Because of her injuries Tillie missed out on school trips and activities with her friends, but the community rallied around, taking part in a sponsored walk to raise money to buy toys.
Her mum Leanne said her daughter was so badly injured she thought someone had ‘painted her face’ and froze in shock.
She says Tillie was ‘always really bubbly’ but now has ‘no confidence’ after her ordeal.
Holt, 41, from Preston, was given a three month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, banned from keeping dogs for life and told to carry out 140 hours of unpaid work.
Judge Simon Newell also ordered the 12-year-old dog, named Caesar, to be destroyed.
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