Parents of boy, 11, left housebound after Staffie tore his arm to the bone are furious as owner is allowed to keep pets – The Sun

FURIOUS parents of an 11-year-old boy who's arm was ripped from the bone after a savage dog attack have blasted a court’s decision not to ban the animal’s owner from keeping pets.

Cooper Johnstone was left drifting in and out of consciousness after a Staffordshire Bull Terrier ripped the flesh from his arm as he knocked on his friends door in Ormskirk, Lancashire.


During the vicious attack, the youngster believed he was "going to die" and has since been plagued by severe panic attacks and a crippling phobia of dogs.

But the animal’s owner Sarah Haselton, 36, escaped a ban on keeping animals when she appeared at Preston Magistrates Court yesterday.

Karan Johnstone, Cooper's mum, argued that her son is now housebound after the attack.

She said: “Cooper not only has awful scars to live with for the rest of his life, but is having a terrible time with panic attacks, to the point where he is housebound.

“He is in a bad way — every time we try to take him out there is always a dog and no matter if it’s on a lead or not, he has a terrible panic attack."

Cooper not only has awful scars to live with for the rest of his life, but is having a terrible time with panic attacks, to the point where he is housebound

Ms Haselton, an NHS worker, had pleaded guilty to being the owner of a dangerously out of control animal, causing injury, at an earlier hearing last month.

She was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and told to pay the family £500 in compensation.

Imposing a sentence, magistrate Martin Sears added: "We have discussed at great length what appears to be a sad and tragic case.

"We do not feel it is necessary to disqualify you from having a dog."

But after the hearing, Cooper’s parents Ellis and Karan Johnstone expressed their outrage and "bitter disappointment" a ban was not imposed.

Ms Johnstone added: “It’s not nice to watch your child having a panic attack while trying to leave the supermarket just because someone has left their dog in the doorway.

“When he has a panic attack he thinks he is going to die, it’s just awful.

“If he sees a dog, he either freezes or runs and has run across a road in fear so many times without looking.

"It’s just not fair for him to be going through this."

The court heard Ms Haselton had already paid £200 of her own money to have the hound, known as Eddie, put down after the animal bit Cooper.

Representing Ms Haselton, who was not home at the time of the attack, defence lawyer David Licide, said: “This is a sad and rather tragic incident that no one could have foreseen."





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