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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 May, 2004, 14:41 GMT 15:41 UK
Court orders attack dog destroyed
Japanese Akita - Cain
A police dog handler captured Japanese Akita Cain
A court has ordered the destruction of a Japanese hunting dog after it grabbed a girl's head in its jaws, leaving her scarred for life.

Amelia McGovern, 12, was attacked on the Easterside estate, Middlesbrough, on 4 June last year.

A police dog handler was called to capture the Akita named Cain.

Owner John Bandeira, 35, was given a two-year Community Rehabilitation Order at Teeside Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to keeping a dangerous dog.

The court was told Bandeira was drunk when the dog slipped its lead and attacked the girl on a playing field near their homes.

The dog perpetrated a savage attack on a child who received injuries from which she will be permanently scarred
Judge Les Spittle

Prosecutor Dan Cordey said Bandeira kicked it in the ribs to free the screaming girl, but it attacked again seizing her left arm before Bandeira drove it off.

Horrified witnesses said it attacked her from behind, putting its paws on her shoulders before she fell to the ground with the dog biting at her head.

Bandeira told police that the dog had bitten a 10-year-old girl when it was six months old and it had also bitten him.

Bandeira who paid 500 for the dog as a puppy begged the judge not to destroy the dog and said: "He's lovely, cuddly, everyone loves him."

He said he was not prepared to risk taking the dog back but asked that police be allowed to rehome it.

Judge Les Spittle said: "The dog perpetrated a savage attack on a child who received injuries from which she will be permanently scarred on the head, arms and shoulder.

"There's a risk of serious injury. You're not prepared to take it, and I'm not prepared to take it for the protection of the public."

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