West Lothian schoolboy scarred for life after vicious dog attack
A dog owner failed to prevent her powerful pet from mauling a 10-year-old boy, a court heard.
Susan Marshall’s cross-breed – believed to be mainly Akita – lunged towards the youngster and knocked him to the ground before biting him repeatedly on the head and body.
The dog then dragged the defenceless youngster along the ground shaking him violently in its jaws, Livingston Sheriff Court was told.
The primary school pupil from Blackridge, West Lothian, suffered severe injuries in the shocking attack and will be left scarred for life, the court heard.
Marshall, 49, pled guilty on indictment today to being the owner of a dog which was dangerously out of control on 9 July last year.
The attack happened in Blackridge, West Lothian, close to Marshall’s home. Rebecca Swansey, prosecuting, said the Crown was accepting the guilty plea under deletion of an allegation that the attack had endangered the boy’s life.
She moved for sentence and revealed that Marshall had no previous convictions for any criminal offences.
Iain Smith, defending, said the dog had been “unlawfully” destroyed by Marshall following the attack but she had since been given retrospective permission to have it put down.
Sheriff Peter Hammond commented: “This is a case where reports are going to be required into the accused’s background. I’m simply minded to adjourn matters for that purpose.”
He called for a criminal justice social work report and an assessment of Marshall’s suitability for an electronic home curfew restriction of liberty order.
He deferred sentence and consideration of an order disqualifying her from owning a dog or other pet until 27 June.
Purebred Akitas are large and powerful beasts originally used for guarding royals and nobles in feudal Japan. They were also used to hunt wild boar, black bear, and sometimes deer.
The expert website dogtime.com stated: “The Akita does not back down from challenges and does not frighten easily, consequently, they are fearless and loyal guardians of their families. Yet they are also affectionate, respectful, and amusing dogs when properly trained and socialised.”