Dog owner told to pay compensation for attack on boy, 7, at Heacham caravan park

The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane. ENGANL00120120910143711
The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane. ENGANL00120120910143711

A dog owner whose pet bit a seven-year-old boy on a West Norfolk holiday park has been ordered to pay £1,500 compensation for his injuries.

Pauline Lockey, 64, was also warned the animal would be put down if it showed similar aggression in the future during a court hearing yesterday.

Lockey appeared before Lynn magistrates for sentencing on a charge of owning a dog which was dangerously out of control.

She had pleaded guilty to the offence at an initial hearing in July. The case was then adjourned for probation and dog behaviour reports to be compiled.

Fergus Harold, prosecuting, told the court the victim had been staying at the Heacham Beach Holiday Park when the incident happened on March 30 this year.

He said the boy had been feeding ducks on the site and gave some bread to the dog, a black and white collie, when it approached.

However, when he tried to take hold of the dog’s tag to find out who its owner was, the animal bit him in the face, causing deep puncture wounds. The boy was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Lynn, but did not require stitches.

However, Mr Harold did read extracts of a victim impact statement made by the boy, in which he said he often cried following the attack and was upset when he saw the injuries to his face.

He said he had thought about what might have happened if the dog had bitten his throat and not been pulled off.

He added: “I don’t like to go near any dogs now and I used to like them.”

Mr Harold also applied for an order seeking the destruction of the dog.

But magistrates instead imposed a contingent destruction order, which means the dog will not be put down as long as Lockey, of Wimpole Street, Chatteris, complies with several conditions.

The conditions included requirements to ensure the collie was muzzled and kept on a lead at all times when outside her home address and walked on its own.

Magistrates also told her to ensure the dog was supervised when at home and to place a lock on fencing around her caravan at the holiday park.

Mitigating solicitor Alexa Clement said Lockey had already had the dog neutered following the incident and was prepared to put a lock on the fencing surrounding her caravan plot.

The court was told that Lockey had walked the dog shortly before the attack, believed it was sleeping inside the caravan and had been distressed when she learnt of the boy’s injuries.

But Miss Clement stressed that there was no previous history of the dog acting aggressively.

She added: “It’s a regrettable incident. It’s the first time she has appeared before the court and it’s unlikely she will be back before the court.”

Lockey was also ordered to pay £85 in prosecution costs.