Mum, 22, fined £500 after her boyfriend's XL Bully named Rambo mauled a little girl, 7, in a terrifying dog attack | The Sun
A MUM, 22, has been fined £500 after her boyfriend's XL Bully named Rambo mauled a little girl aged seven in a terrifying dog attack.
Holly Dodd has been ordered to pay damages to the young victim after admitting responsibility for the injuries inflicted by the dog outside her home in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire.
Mum-of-two Dodd was inside her home looking for cash for an ice cream van when the XL Bully suddenly darted through the front door and set upon a girl playing outside with friends.
Dodd eventually managed to pull away the powerfully-built animal herself.
But the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, spotted blood seeping through her trousers and was rushed to hospital.
The pet was later destroyed.
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Dodd has now been told to pay £500 in compensation to the girl, after appearing before Chester magistrates and admitting being in control of a dangerous dog which caused injury.
Her boyfriend will pick up the bill, the court was told.
The attack happened on October 10 this year when Dodd was looking after the dog, while her boyfriend was at work.
Andrew Madden, prosecuting, said: “Miss Dodd’s child has been present with the victim and they attended at the defendant's address to ask for money for ice cream.
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"The defendant opened the door but the dog ran out and bit the victim causing injury."
Magistrates were shown pictures of the child's injuries but details were not disclosed.
Mr Madden added: "In fairness to Miss Dodd, it would appear that she has called police to report the incident and she was later interviewed in relation to this matter.
"In interview she said she was in control of the dog Rambo and confirmed that Rambo ran out of the address and attacked the complainant, causing the injuries.
"I understand the dog has already been destroyed by the police."
I feel extremely guilty for what has happened
In a letter read to the court, Dodd described Rambo as having been "amazing" with both her children after being around them "since he was a puppy".
She went on: "Rambo is a big dog for his age and being a puppy was still very energetic.
"The day Rambo bit the girl my partner was working – it turned out to be one of the worst days of our lives.
"We rang the police, asking them to take our dog and best friend, knowing what would happen to him.
"It has broken our hearts as a family but we have wanted to do the right thing and be responsible.
"I am truly sorry, I feel extremely guilty for what happened. It was a genuine accident.
"Rambo is a very big dog and I am a petite girl. It just ran past me. I had no chance in this situation – if I did, it would not have happened.
"I am just a young mum trying my best and trying to do the right thing."
Dodd's solicitor Michael Gray told the court cops only arrived after her third call to them about the attack.
He said: "She took steps to report the matter to the police straight away and it took some perseverance.
"It's a big dog, notorious for being a dangerous breed and bolted out of the house – it went through Miss Dodd’s legs and went into the street and bit the child.
"Miss Dodd was horrified, as she told police in interview."
Mr Gray also said her boyfriend felt "incredibly guilty" after leaving the dog with her while he was working.
And he said police told Dodd at the station to expect a conditional caution, only to later say she would be charged.
NEW LAWS ON XL BULLY DOGS
He added: "A decision to be charged was in the public interest because of these dogs are in the media and the injuries to the child are also relevant in the charging decision.
"But it was unfair on the defendant to be suggested she would get a conditional caution when that was never going to happen as far as the police stance is concerned."
He told the court it was a "tragic situation", that his client was "deeply remorseful and upset" and now the dog had been destroyed there would "be no repeat of this incident".
Mr Gray said: "The defendant has made clear that she does not want this type of dog in her house again and that is echoed by Mr Cheshire."
Sentencing Dodd, magistrate Kenneth Baird told her: ''It could have been a very much more serious matter but you have acted responsibly after the event.''
XL Bully dogs are due to be banned in Britain from December 31 this year, the government yesterday confirmed.
Anyone defying the new rules faces up to 14 years in prison, while they could also be disqualified from ownership or have their dangerous dogs euthanised.
New legislation put before Parliament would criminalise breeding, selling, advertising, rehoming, abandoning or allowing an XL Bully dog to stray.
Existing XL Bullies have been given an amnesty, but must be muzzled and on a lead in public from December 31 onwards.
Recent XL Bully attacks include one in Birmingham in the West Midlands which left brave schoolgirl Ana Paun, 11, fearing she would die when savaged.
The Sun has reported on bully-type dogs being advertised for sale online in the UK, allowing anyone to buy them without checks.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced in September plans to ban the breed.
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He posted a social media video vowing action under the Dangerous Dogs Act, adding: "New laws will be in place by the end of the year."
Britain's chief vet Professor Christine Middlemiss later said owners of XL bully dogs would not face a cull of their pets.
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