Mother and son jailed after boy, 8, mauled by XL Bully, suffering serious head injuries

14 May 2024, 05:48

Lewis and Amanda Young have been jailed
Lewis and Amanda Young have been jailed. Picture: Merseyside Police

By Kit Heren

A mother and son have been jailed after an eight-year-old boy was attacked by their XL Bully, suffering serious head injuries dog.

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Amanda Young, 49, was jailed for 20 months after admitting being the person in charge of a dog which caused injury while dangerously out of control in a public place.

Her son Lewis Young, 30, was given a two-year prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to being the owner of the dog.

The victim, who cannot be identified, suffered extensive injuries to his scalp, face and hands in the attack in the communal area of a block of flats in Wadham Road, Bootle, Merseyside, on February 10.

Sentencing, Honorary Recorder of Liverpool Judge Andrew Menary said: "The circumstances of the attack are truly awful. The nature of the injuries caused to the young victim, then eight years old, were catastrophic and on any view life changing.

Read more: Man, 40, becomes first person in UK to be prosecuted for owning unregistered XL Bully under new laws

Read more: My time with an XL bully: Are the dogs 'cuddly bears' or ferocious animals that should be banned?

Lewis Young
Lewis Young. Picture: Merseyside Police

"The events of that day will no doubt haunt the memories of everyone who witnessed the savage and sustained attack by the dog you had decided to keep as a pet."

Charlotte Kenny, prosecuting, said the victim had been at the flats to play with a friend when the attack happened.

The dog was "unrestrained" and "uncontrolled" when it started to attack the boy, having been allowed to wander freely around the communal parts of the block by Amanda Young.

Ms Kenny said neighbours attempted to pull the dog from the boy.

One man, Anthony Atkinson, who grabbed the dog by its neck to try to stop the attack, described seeing it latched on to the boy's shoulder and neck area, the court heard.

Amanda Young
Amanda Young. Picture: Merseyside Police

Other witnesses said the dog was "frothing at the mouth" and shaking the boy's head, the court heard.

The court heard Amanda Young was in charge of the dog while her son, a delivery driver, was at work.

She later told police she had had three or four gins, which may have been double measures, that afternoon.

victim was taken to Alder Hey Children's Hospital and underwent surgery to try to reattach his scalp but it was unsuccessful.

He also had a fracture to his skull consistent with the dog's tooth penetrating his scalp, Ms Kenny said.

Judge Menary said: "This little boy has had multiple surgeries to graft skin to his head. He will be left, on any view, with extensive facial and scalp scarring and profound psychological scarring.

"The injuries are just dreadful."

The victim's mother, who was in court with relatives, said her son had to stay in hospital for more than two months and had not yet returned to school.

She said: "He is petrified when he sees a dog and will physically grab his dad's or my hand."

The dog, called Snoop, was seized and destroyed.

Restrictions came into force at the end of last year requiring the dogs to be kept on a lead and muzzled in public.

From February 1, it has been a criminal offence to own an XL bully in England and Wales without a certificate.