Cambridgeshire

Woman, 80, jailed over dog attack on five-year-old girl

Skyla Boldan Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Skyla Boldan was attacked by the Jack Russell terrier in June this year

An 80-year-old woman has been jailed for 12 months after her son's dog attacked a five-year-old girl, leaving her with facial injuries.

Theresa Graves, of March, Cambridgeshire, held the animal up for Skyla Boldan to kiss it in June this year, according to the girl's family.

But it bit her, causing deep cuts to her lip. The dog, a Jack Russell called Deefa, had to be destroyed.

Graves was found guilty of being in charge of a dangerous dog.

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption The five-year-old sustained injuries to her face in the attack

Skyla's grandfather and legal guardian, John Boldan, said the woman regularly walked the dog in the area.

He said she called Skyla over, picked up the animal and "put it over the gate into my child's face".

"The next thing we know Skyla's screaming, covered in blood, the dog's bit her," he said.

"I used to always warn her not to reach out to strange dogs, but in this instance she had no choice - it was handed to her.

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Skyla Boldan was treated in hospital for her injuries

"As much as she loves dogs, as much as she wants to stroke them, she's got that air of caution now which she didn't have before," he added.

Mr Boldan described the prison sentence as "justly deserved", alleging the dog had bitten others in the area before.

Peterborough Crown Court heard that Graves was walking the dog on Estover Road, March, in June this year when the attack happened.

She was banned from owning dogs for life and ordered to pay a £140 victim surcharge.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The attack happened in Estover Road, March, in June this year

Her son, David Graves, 41, of Estover Road, was also found guilty of being the owner of a dog that was dangerously out of control.

He was given a 12-month community order, 180 hours of unpaid work, banned from keeping dogs for life and ordered to pay an £85 victim surcharge

Det Con Mark Yendley, of Cambridgeshire Police, said: "This case shows how important it is to keep dogs under control in public places and how seriously the courts treat incidents of this nature."

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