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Last Updated: Friday, 29 June 2007, 19:56 GMT 20:56 UK
Sentence for 'savage' dog attack
Cardiff Crown Court
Kenneth Viscount was ordered to do unpaid work
A dog owner has been handed a suspended jail sentence after his Rottweiler's "savage" and "horrifying" attack on a 12-year-old girl in Barry.

Cardiff Crown Court heard the dog, called Blade, bit Bethan Cutajar's leg as she walked with a friend in January.

Earlier this month, Kenneth Viscount, 45, was found guilty of being the owner of a dog which caused injury while dangerously out of control.

Viscount must pay 1,000 compensation and Blade will be destroyed.

Bus driver Viscount, who has three children, was given a four-month sentence, suspended for a year.

He was also ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work and was banned from keeping dogs for seven years.

She used to be a very outgoing girl, but now she's stuck in my house, or her aunt's house
Lesley Thomas

Recorder Paul Thomas QC said Viscount had shown courage by pulling his dog off Bethan, but told him he "must have known" it was dangerous to go into "a public place with a Rottweiler off the lead".

"What resulted came from your total lack of responsibility as a handler of a potentially lethal dog," he said.

"There then followed a savage attack which, apart from the physical consequences, must have been, and was a horrifying experience for a 12-year-old like Bethan."

"It seems to me that you deliberately placed members of the public at risk in what you did."

Ordering Blade's destruction, Mr Thomas said that there was a danger of the dog attacking again.

Scars

Speaking outside the court, Bethan's mother Lesley Thomas, 39, said she was glad the case was over.

Ms Thomas, from Barry, said her daughter's scars were still visible.

"She used to be a very outgoing girl, but now she's stuck in my house, or her aunt's house," she said.

"She's scared of dogs now, which she wasn't before."




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