Dog mauled schoolgirl in park

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  • Schoolgirl was on swings when dog attacked her
  • Was left with puncture wound, bleeding and bruising
  • Dog had shown no sign of an aggressive nature prior to attack
  • Man was looking after animal for a friend

A PET dog is to be destroyed after it mauled a 12-year-old schoolgirl in a Wigan park.

Paul Rogers of Scholefield Lane, Scholes, pleaded guilty to a charge of his dog being out of control in a public place and injuring a person.

On the day in question Mr Rogers had bought a new, longer lead for the dog and was in the process of changing it when the dog ran off

Bill Pearson - defending

Wigan magistrates heard that on November 3 last year, the victim had finished school and was sitting on a swing in a Scholes park when a white terrier-type dog, which wasn’t on a lead, came charging towards her. Prosecuting Katie Beattie said the dog jumped up at her, biting her and scratching at her feet with its paws.

When the victim stood up the animal was dangling off her with its paws.

Rogers came straight over to help to get the dog off her before she left to go to a friend’s house. A statement from the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was read to the court by Ms Beattie. She said: “The man asked if I was okay. I wasn’t crying when I went to my friend’s house.”

Ms Beattie told the court that the young victim suffered from a puncture wound, bleeding and bruising on her left thigh with a “complete” full claw mark visible on her leg.

The friend’s mum took the victim to Wigan Infirmary where the wound was dressed and she was given antibiotics.

Defending, Bill Pearson told magistrates that Rogers had only been in charge of the dog for three days after agreeing to look after it for a friend.

He added: “It was a difficult situation and the dog had nowhere to stay.

“Mr Rogers had met the dog beforehand. He has four children at home including a baby who had also spent time with the dog prior to the incident and it showed no sign of an aggressive nature.

“He took the dog on and is an experienced owner who made sure the dog knew where it stood in the pecking order, so to speak.

“On the day in question Mr Rogers had bought a new, longer lead for the dog and was in the process of changing it when the dog ran off.

“At the time, he didn’t have any concerns as the dog had never been aggressive before.

“Once the incident had taken place he went with the child to the friend’s house, he also later visited her parents house to check she was okay and swapped details.

“He then heard nothing from them for weeks until the police came around to his house.”

Rogers, who consented to the dog’s destruction, will return back to court on March 19 as the case was adjourned for a report before sentencing.

The 37-year-old was released on unconditional bail.