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Monday, 19 August, 2002, 17:53 GMT 18:53 UK
Boy bitten 23 times in dog attack
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
The boy was attacked by a Staffordshire Bull Terrier
A 12-year-old boy is in hospital after being savaged by a bull terrier while playing football with friends.

Sean Young will need a metal plate inserted in his arm and could face skin grafts after the attack by the Staffordshire Bull Terrier in County Durham.

Sean, from Sedgefield, was bitten 23 times and was only saved from further injury by passing workmen who pulled the dog off him and pinned it to the ground for 20 minutes.

The dog's owners - who called a vet after the attack - asked for the dog to be put down immediately.


They started to kick the dog and grabbed at its choke chain in an attempt to make it release its grip

Durham Police spokesman

Sean was playing football in the village of Coxhoe, with friends on Friday when the incident happened.

The dog was being walked by a woman when it spotted the youngsters.

A Durham Police spokesman said: "At first it only chased after the ball a couple of times but when Sean performed a handstand it seemed to have the effect of upsetting the animal and sending it into a frenzy.

"The dog went for Sean and seized him by the arm, dragging him along the ground.

"Its bite was so strong it broke his right wrist and the bull terrier was only stopped when two workmen passing by in a van saw what was happening and leaped out to help.

Nervous flashbacks

The men who rescued Sean - field engineers Derek Hedley and Peter Campbell, both 36 - were heading back to their depot.

The spokesman said: "They started to kick the dog and grabbed at its choke chain in an attempt to make it release its grip.

"They eventually forced the dog to let go and managed to keep the animal pinned to the ground until a local vet arrived."

Sean's mother Denise Young, said: "If it had not happened in a public place I dread to think what the outcome could have been.

"Sean is still suffering flashbacks and understandably is very nervous about dogs at the moment but hopefully that will fade in time."

Durham Police confirmed that the dog's owners have been reported for failing to keep a dog under control and a file is being prepared for the Crown Prosecution Service.


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01 Jul 02 | 4x4 Reports
20 Jun 02 | England
04 Jun 02 | England
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