Essex

Southend beach dog attack: Man pleads guilty

Boy's injuries after dog attack
Image caption The boy was seriously injured in the attack on Southend beach

A man has admitted having a dog dangerously out of control after an attack on a seven-year-old boy on an Essex beach.

The boy was paddling with his grandmother at Southend on 5 August when he was forced under the water by a Rottweiler.

He suffered 20 wounds to his torso and arms.

Rowan Diedrick, 29, of Avenue Road, Enfield, north London, appeared at Basildon Crown Court.

He was warned he faces a jail term when he is sentenced on 23 April.

Speaking after the hearing, Essex Police said Diedrick was walking two Rottweilers off the lead when one of them ran into the water and grabbed the boy.

'Impossible to imagine'

The grandmother managed to pull the boy from the dog's jaws before Diedrick made off with both dogs.

The boy underwent three bouts of surgery and has since made a good recovery, police said.

Diedrick, a builder, was arrested after a member of the public identified him from a CCTV clip released by Essex Police.

PC James Crabb said: "Rowan Diedrick allowed his dog to be dangerously out of control on a beach in the height of summer when there were lots of young children around.

"His irresponsible behaviour led to a young boy being trapped between the dog's jaws and left with horrific injuries, both physical and emotional.

"It is almost impossible to imagine how anyone could watch a child being severely mauled before simply running away.

"The young boy was lucky not to have been even more seriously injured thanks to the intervention of his grandmother and I would like to praise them both for their bravery."

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