Gran’s dog ban after Andrew’s face is bitten open


By Michael MacLeod

A GRANDMOTHER whose Lakeland Terrier ripped open a five year-old boy’s face has been ordered to pay him £350 compensation.

Andrew Osbourne
SCARRED: Youngster Andrew Osborne was bitten by a dog

Little Andrew Osborne was playing with his twin brother outside his Midlothian house when he was savagely attacked in May.

The tot was knocked over as the dog leapt up and sunk its teeth through his right cheek, leaving him streaming with blood.

He needed three operations and 34 stitches after the horror attack, and is expected to be scarred for life.

Dog owner Frieda Lang said she knew nothing of the attack until police arrived at her door.

As cops questioned her, the 67 year-old realised the gate to her home had been left open and accepted that her eight year-old dog, Pip, was to blame.

She told police she wanted the dog “put to sleep” immediately.

Today (Thurs) Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard she was “considerably contrite and remorseful” over the attack.

She said her son had left the gate open on the day of the attack.

But, as the owner of the dog, she accepted it was her responsibility.

As well as paying compensation and a £200 fine, Lang was banned for three years from having a dog.

FreidaLang 001
OWNER: Frieda Lang leaves court

Last month the pensioner admitted one charge of letting her dog get dangerously out of control.

Fiscal depute Sally Craig told of how Andrew’s mum Barbara heard “screaming” from outside their home in Mayfield, Midlothian, on May 19.

The prosecutor said: “Andrew Osbourne was playing outside his home with his brothers.

“They saw a dog which they recognised and knew was called Pip.

“The dog was running towards Andrew and barked before jumping up at him.

“It bit him on the right cheek causing deep open wounds and lacerations to his mouth and face.

“His brother was frightened and tried to grab the dog’s collar.

“Andrew was screaming and there was blood gushing from his mouth.

“His mother came out of the home and saw her son screaming and put a towel over his wounds.”

The tot was rushed to Edinburgh’s Sick Kids Hospital for emergency surgery.

Miss Craig added: “The stitches were taken out on May 26, although there is some concern there will be long-term scarring.”

“remorse expressed in the dock”

Mrs Laing, who lives in Mayfield with her husband, arranged for her dog to be put down later that day.

Her defence agent Andrew Gilbertson said the dog had “no previous convictions.”

He said: “Mrs Lang is considerably contrite and remorseful, the dog having been put down the same day.

“The dog was the family pet and slept in a basket under the kitchen table.

“On the date in question her son was working in the garden greenhouse and he left the door open.

“Thereafter, he didn’t shut the gate and the dog went out.

“There was no suggestion that the dog had previous convictions or was anything for anyone to worry about.

“The little boy is of course entitled to criminal injury compensation.”

Sheriff Neil MacKinnnon told the pensioner: “Mrs Lang, this is a serious matter.

“However, I am impressed by the remorse you have expressed in the dock and will restrict the monetary penalty to £200.”

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