Youngster Injured In Incident
A lawyer has claimed a “horrific” dog attack which saw a four-year-old girl left scarred for life has highlighted the terrible impact that such incidents can have on children.
Irwin Mitchell’s Katrina Elsey, who specialises in cases related to dog bites and attacks, reacted after The Star in Sheffield reported that Charlotte Cort-Levin suffered facial wounds when mauled by the Japanese Akita in a neighbour’s backyard.
The girl’s mother, Katie Levin, has called for a change in the law over dog attacks on private land, as police told her that no action could be taken due to the incident taking place in a garden.
Katrina Elsey said: “This incident is very similar to many of the dog bite cases I deal with, particularly as the reports have highlighted both the physical and emotional scars that such attacks can particularly have on younger people.
“While in this case the police have stated they are unable to help, the family of the youngster should bear in mind that they may still be able to make a civil claim in relation to this terrible incident.
“In addition, while the vast majority of dog owners are responsible, and the vast majority of dogs are well behaved, we are seeing an increasing number of victims who have been attacked resulting in horrific, and sometimes fatal, injuries. Evidently the current law is insufficient in protecting the public.
“I feel the police should also be given greater powers of seizure of dogs plus the power to decide whether the animal is safe to remain with its owner or if it poses any further threats to public safety.
“Currently police can only seize a dog and prosecute an owner if an attack takes place on public land under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. This, in my view leaves far too many people unprotected by the current law which is inadequate for incidents which occur on private property.”