8 year-old scarred for life after terrier attack


A South Shields youngster suffered facial injuries after he was attacked by a neighbour's Staffordshire bull terrier.

Jonathon Harwood was near his home in Marsden when the dog he was playing with turned on him unexpectedly.

The 8 year-old's mother, Lisa Patterson, pulled the terrier away and Jonathon was taken to South Tyneside District Hospital. He was later transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Newcastle, where he was treated for severe facial cuts.

After performing surgery, doctors said Jonathon will be scarred for life.

Ms Patterson said that a bone above her son's mouth had been broken, he lost facial nerves and his mouth was cut from one side to the other. "He will be scarred forever, not only physically but mentally too.

"A psychologist is going to see him because he is terrified of coming home, he doesn't really understand what's happened."

A police spokesman said: "At 12.05pm on Tuesday police received a report from the ambulance service that an 8 year-old boy had been bitten by a dog."

Ms Patterson said that the dog, a rescue, had belonged to neighbours. The animal was later put down.

She recalled recent news of a Swindon 2 year-old who was left in a coma after a dog attack. "All I could think of was that story. That could have happened to Jonathon, or even worse."

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