'Justice' as dog attack woman jailed
THE mother of a four-year-old boy who was savagely attacked by a dog described the prison sentence for one of the animal s carers as justice. Toni Badcock, 30, of Thongsley, sat with her head in her hands at Peterborough Crown Court on Thursday as a jud
THE mother of a four-year-old boy who was savagely attacked by a dog described the prison sentence for one of the animal's carers as "justice."
Toni Badcock, 30, of Thongsley, sat with her head in her hands at Peterborough Crown Court on Thursday as a judge sentenced her to nine months in prison.
The court heard how Badcock had been caring for Buddy, an American Bulldog, when he escaped and attacked George Brown, leaving him needing 200 stitches to his face.
George had been playing with friends on the green near to his home in Norfolk Road, Huntingdon, in August when Buddy escaped biting the toddler on his feet and the face as Badcock struggled to pull the dog away.
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Covered in blood, George was taken to Hinchingbrooke Hospital A&E department, before being transferred to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge for plastic surgery.
It was the second time George had been attacked the dog.
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The court was told neighbours and police had asked Buddy's owner and Badcock's partner, Michael Feehily, to improve security at his home in Norfolk Road.
In an earlier incident in May, the dog had escaped from the house and ran to a play area, circling some screaming children and knocking them to the ground. On that occasion a boy of seven needed hospital treatment for a bruised eye and elbow while George suffered some scratches.
Speaking outside the court, George's mum Danielle Brown, 27, said: "I am relieved and happy that we have got some justice for George and the sentence is longer than we expected.
"This was completely avoidable, and everyone was asking them to do something about it. If it was my dog it would have been put down after the first attack.
"It is my birthday today and this is the best present I could have ever received. A line has been drawn under it and I hope we can now move on."
Judge Neil McKittrick described the attack as a "tragedy waiting to happen" and said "only a custodial sentence could justify the lack of control".
He added: "Nothing I say can remotely compensate for the injury caused to George and his family. The public have been touched by this and I hope George can make a full recovery."
Badcock, who was said to be "totally devastated" by the injuries caused to George, had previously pleaded guilty to four counts of being in charge of a dangerously out-of-control dog. Mr Feehily, 38 has denied the same charges.
Buddy, who was homed with Mr Feehily by Wood Green Animal Shelter in Godmanchester, was put down after the attack.
Judge McKittrick also raised some concerns about the homing of Buddy with Mr Feehily by Wood Green Animal Shelter. He said: "Wood Green is a highly respected establishment but in cases like these I have real concerns that a powerful dog like this should be placed in a small terraced house on an estate.
"In my judgement it is not agreeable. My view is powerful dogs of this type need substantial exercise and discipline and this is difficult to achieve in a small terrace house in Huntingdon."
When asked if she thought Wood Green had done enough Mrs Brown said: "Wood Green did a fantastic job and I do not blame them for what happened at all.