A DOG owner had his pet put down after it bit an eight-year-old girl on the face, a court heard.
Willie Jack’s Akita, named Saskia, punctured the youngster’s skin and tore a hole in her cheek just above her jaw.
Jack, 44, had the dog put down within days of the incident, Livingston Sheriff Court was told yesterday as he appeared charged with an offence under the Dangerous Dogs Act.
Jimmy Robertson, prosecuting, said the accused and his partner had been at home on the evening of the attack when the dog bit the eight-year-old girl, who can’t be named for legal reasons, in a bedroom.
Mr Robertson said: “A short time later the accused heard screaming coming from upstairs and saw the girl holding her face and bleeding heavily.
“She had two injuries – a puncture wound around 1cm wide and a larger laceration around 5cm wide.”
The girl was rushed to St John’s Hospital in Livingston for an emergency operation, during which surgeon’s stitched the inside and outside of her mouth.
As a result of the serious dog bite, Mr Robertson said, the schoolgirl will be scarred for life.
Jack – a painter and decorator from Livingston – pleaded guilty to being the owner of a dog which was dangerously out of control at his home in Raeburn Rigg on January 15 this year.
He was ordered to pay the girl £1000 compensation and sentenced to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work within six months under a community payback order.
Although Jack had authorised the destruction of the dog, Sheriff Martin Edington also made an order disqualifying him from having custody of a dog for three years.
He told Jack: “This is in a number of aspects a tragic case.
“The person who suffered most was this poor child who was severely injured and scarred for life.
“I take into account the lack of previous offending . . . and the fact that the dog has been destroyed and not replaced.”
He said the “significant” level of financial compensation – which Jack must pay by £20 weekly instalments – was to mark the seriousness of the matter.
Paul Haran defending described the attack as “a tragic incident”.
Outside court Jack revealed that Saskia had been suffering from a brain tumour which might have caused it to act in the way it did.
He added: “I just want to put it all behind me now.”