German Shepherd could be put down after attack on seven-year-old girl

Norwich Magistrates Court. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich Magistrates Court. Picture: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

A seven-year-old girl has been left frightened to visit her grandmother after a dog attack left her terrified of the animals, a court has heard.

Buddy, a German Shepherd owned by 28-year-old Andrew Harpley, could be put down after leaving a girl with puncture wounds on her leg after an attack.

And in a statement read out in court, the girl’s father told how she had been left petrified of dogs and reluctant to visit her own grandmother, who owns a dog of the same breed.

Prosecutor Josephine Jones said the attack, which happened last November, saw the youngster taken to the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston for further treatment - and had left the girl scarred emotionally.

She added that the trauma and physical pain had led to her school attendance slipping and her missing important speech and language sessions, as well as causing her to develop a phobia of dogs.

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Reading the father’s statement, she said: “She is now terrified of all dogs - the other day we were walking in the town and saw a little sausage dog and she cowered behind me. She always used to love dogs and would want to go to the park just to see and pet them, now she never wants to go.

“She also never wants to go to her nanny’s any more because she has a German Shepherd too.”

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Appearing via video link at Norwich Magistrates’ Court, Harpley, of San Fransisco Walk, Lowestoft, admitted to being in charge of a dangerous or out of control dog.

District judge Shanta Deonarine adjourned the hearing until next month, so a report can be prepared on what will happen next to the former security dog, but warned Harpley that an order to destroy it was a possibility.

She said a report was needed to determine whether the dog remained a danger to the public and that if it is found to be, the court would order it to be put down.

Harpley, who was represented by Annette Hall, will appear again at Norwich Magistrates’ Court on September 4, when he be sentenced and learn the fate of his dog.

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