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from This Is London


12-year-old boy savaged by dog

August 20, 2002

A 12-year-old boy faces skin grafts and having a metal plate inserted in his arm after being savaged by a frenzied dog while playing football.

Sean Young was bitten 23 times by the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and was only saved from further injury by passing workmen who pulled the dog off him and pinned it to the ground for 20 minutes.

The dog's owners, who called a vet after the attack, immediately asked for the dog to be put down on the spot.

Sean, of Sedgefield, County Durham, was playing football in the village of Coxhoe, with friends on Friday when the incident happened.

The dog was being walked by a woman when it spotted the youngsters. After apparently loping around the field chasing their ball it turned vicious after Sean did a handstand on the grass.

A Durham Police spokesman said: "At first it only chased after the ball a couple of times but when Sean performed a handstand it seemed to have the effect of upsetting the animal and sending it into a frenzy.

"The dog went for Sean and seized him by the arm, dragging him along the ground. Its bite was so strong it broke his right wrist and the Bull Terrier was only stopped when two workmen passing by in a van saw what was happening and leaped out to help.

"Sean suffered a total of 23 puncture wounds and is being treated at the University Hospital of North Durham where he is due to have a metal plate inserted into his arm and there's also the chance he could need skin grafts."

The men who rescued Sean were field engineers Derek Hedley and Peter Campbell, both 36, who were heading back to their depot.

Durham Police confirmed that the dog's owners have been reported for failing to keep a dog under control and a file is being prepared for the Crown Prosecution Service.

Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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