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Court orders dog to be destroyed

MAGISTRATES WHO have ordered that a Stafford x Labrador be destroyed have been applauded by the mother whose son was attacked.

However, the dog could yet win a stay-of-excecution as its owner intends to appeal against the ruling.

Eight-year victim Paul Nichol needing 11 stitches and suffered cuts to his chin and forehead after he was bitten by the dog named Lightning. The attack happened at a neighbour's house near his grandma's home in Blackburn, Lancs.

Police confirmed how Paul had been stroking the puppies when the dog "went at him" and that owner Carole Theakston had agreed to put Lightning down within a month.

But Ms Theakston, who has three daughters, changed her mind stating that while she "felt very bad" about what had happened, she believed her three-year-old dog did not pose a danger.

Later local magistrates ordered that Lightning be put down after finding the Ms Theakston guilty of failing to keep her under control.

Welcoming the bench's decision, Paul's mum, Florence Ward said the attack had left her son subject to nasty nicknames and added to his existing behavioural problems. She added: "Since he was bitten his behaviour has got worse. He had behavioural problems anyway I think he has a slight autism. He has been expelled from Shadsworth Junior School and he is now at the Sunnyhurst pupil referral unit in Darwen.”

The Crown Prosecution Service this week confirmed that Ms Theakston intends to appeal the magistrates' verdict A spokesman said: "Blackburn magistrates sentenced the dog to be destroyed. She was found guilty of having a dangerous dog and failing to keep it under control. She has said that she intends to appeal against the sentence and has 28 days to do so."