Man jailed after dog savaged nine-year-old boy in Norwich

A Norwich man who was responsible for a bull terrier which savaged a nine year-old boy, leaving him scarred for life, has been jailed for two months.

But the boy's mother said the jail sentence was 'too little, too late' and that more should have been done to prevent the attack in the first place.

Nathan Atkins, 20, was looking after the dog, called Bumbles, for his brother.

And although he knew the dog had bitten people, he allowed the dog to be turned out on the loose around the streets near his home in Goldsmith Street, off Dereham Road, in Norwich, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Nine year-old victim Iain De-Bozie, who spoke to the Evening News about the incident earlier this year, found the dog wandering about and had taken the bulldog back to Atkins' address when the dog suddenly attacked him, biting him on the arm for no reason, the court was told. Martin Ivory, prosecuting, said: 'The dog is described as shaking its head from side to side and the boy was screaming out.'

He said that when Atkins heard what was happening he immediately did all he could to help and managed to get the dog off by kicking it away.

However the dog's jaws had caused a serious injury to the Wensum Junior School pupil's arm and he needed a total of 51 stitches.

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Mr Ivory said Iain has been left with permanent scars and could have to undergo further plastic surgery.

Bumbles was destroyed after the incident.

Atkins admitted being in charge of a dog which was dangerously out of control in a public place.

Atkins was already a serving prisoner and Judge Alasdair Darroch jailed him for a further two months for the offence. He told him: 'You knew he had bitten people before but just let him roam around. You should have taken it under control. You have shown a high degree of negligence.'

Guy Ayers, for Atkins, said the dog was his brother's. When the dog attacked the boy Atkins had done everything he could to help.

Speaking to the Evening News after the sentencing, Ms De-Bozie, 43, of Goldsmith Street, said: 'Iain is still having nightmares and he's still very nervous of dogs when he never was before. He is still scarred for life and his confidence is shattered.

'Jailing Nathan Atkins is not necessarily the best action, it should have been prevented in the first place. That dog was known to have bitten and jumped at several children. It should not have been allowed out. He was put in an awkward position of looking after a dog that did not belong to him.'

Ms De-Bozie's son had to undergo a two-hour operation at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital to repair the damage to his arm as a result of the attack.

'It's too little, too late,' said Ms De-Bozie. 'Jailing him is not going to make my son feel any better. People need to be stricter about letting their dogs out and having them on leads.'

As recently reported, calls have been renewed for further action on dangerous dogs in Norwich after it emerged hospital admissions due to dog bites were on the rise.

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