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Friday, 12 April, 2002, 12:02 GMT 13:02 UK
Payout for dog attack boy
Edinbugh Sheriff Court
The case was heard at Edinburgh Sheriff Court
A woman whose dog savaged the face of an Edinburgh schoolboy has been ordered to pay the youngster compensation.

Linda Paul was told by a sheriff that she would have to hand over 400 to the youngster.

She was also banned from keeping another dog for the next five years.

At Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Friday, Sheriff Douglas Allan heard that 55-year-old Mrs Paul had been "horrified" when she learned the extent of the eight-year-old's injuries.

Edinburgh sick children's hospital
The boy was treated at the sick children's hospital
She has since had her Alsatian dog put down.

Mrs Paul appeared in court last month when she pleaded guilty to owning a dangerous dog.

Sentence was deferred for background reports and for proof that the dog had been destroyed.

The court had heard that in June last year, Mrs Paul tied her dog to a pole outside a shop in West Granton Road, Edinburgh, while she went in to buy groceries.

The dog became upset and began to howl.

Horrific gash

The schoolboy, who cannot be named because of his age, went to pat the animal to comfort it.

Without warning, the Alsatian leapt on the boy and bit the left side of his face leaving a horrific gash.

The youngster was taken to Edinburgh's Sick Children's Hospital where 43 stitches were used to seal the gash.

She was horrified by what happened to the boy and with the extent of the injuries and the scarring

Mike Bevan
defence solicitor
The court was told that despite plastic surgery, he would be left with an obvious scar.

Sheriff Allan was told that months earlier, police officers had warned Mrs Paul that her dog should be muzzled.

She had got the animal from a dogs home principally for protection after ending a brief relationship with a violent man.

The police had visited her flat to give her advice on security and saw the dog, out of control, snapping at a visitor.

Bought muzzle

Defence agent Mike Bevan told Sheriff Allan that it was only when Mrs Paul saw Crown photographs, that she realised the full extent of the boy's injuries.

"She was horrified by what happened to the boy and with the extent of the injuries and the scarring.

She has no intention of getting another dog," he said.

Mr Bevan added that Mrs Paul had bought a muzzle after being told to do so by the police, but she had not used it on the day of the attack because the dog had been tied up.

Sheriff Allan admonished her on the charge of keeping a dangerous dog, banned her from owning another dog for five years and ordered that she pay 400.

See also:

23 Dec 00 | Scotland
Girl hurt in dog attack
02 Jun 00 | Scotland
Boy in hospital after dog bite
29 May 00 | Scotland
Bravery award for boy hero
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