A crook who previously owned a bull mastiff he was in charge of - despite being banned - when it savaged a child is facing a jail term.
The nine-year-old boy's arm was bitten all the way down to the bone, with the victim, who cannot be named, left scarred but escaping permanent injury. The animal, Maximus, was originally owned by Paul Norwood. It was then signed over to a man named Graham Banks when Norwood was banned from owning or keeping dogs for life after it mauled a passer-by.
Norwood was living at Mr Banks's home in Nelson, and the animal was in his control at the time it attacked the child, Blackburn Magistrates' Court was told.
The dog was previously spared death after it attacked a passer-by when it was owned by Norwood. It sank its teeth into a terrified postwoman's bottom, leaving her in agony, when said she to be owned by Banks. Norwood has now admitted being the owner/person in charge of a dog which was dangerously out of control and caused injury last August. It has been seized by police and destroyed.
Norwood (31) of Napier Street in Nelson, was committed in custody to the crown court for sentence on March 9th by District Judge James Clarke, who said he was sceptical about the circumstances in which Norwood came to be living with the dog.
Miss Parveen Akhtar, prosecuting, told the court the boy's father said he found his son holding a blood-soaked cloth over his arm. The child was very upset. She continued: "He lifted the cloth and started to panic. He could see muscle tissue where the bite was."
The victim was taken to hospital, where an X-ray revealed the bite was down to the bone. Surgery was needed to clean the wound and the boy spent two nights in hospital.
Miss Akhtar told how in a victim impact statement, the boy's father said that since the incident the victim had not gone out to play as often. He added: "Thankfully, the injury could have been far worse. I would like the person responsible for the dog to be punished."
Mr Nick Cassidy, defending, said Norwood had found himself homeless about a week before the offence and had moved into Mr Banks' house. On the day of the offence, Mr Banks was out. The solicitor continued: "He maintains it [the dog] was owned by Mr Banks, but at the time of the offence it was in his control."
The attack came a year after the dog, then owned by Norwood, left a woman needing skin grafts and emotionally scarred after it escaped from a property in Nelson and set about her. A court previously heard how the dog was being looked after by a pensioner when it scaled a back gate and tore a lump of flesh measuring seven by four centimetres from the victim Aziz Begum's arm, affecting her ability to use her hand. She also suffered puncture wounds on her leg.
An earlier hearing was told how Norwood had been found unfit to have the dog after the incident, but a court had been told the animal "shouldn't pose any risk to other people."
Prosecutors said: "It seems that report was wrong."