A Leeds mother today spoke out against a court’s decision to release the dog that attacked her daughter back to its owner.
Six-year-old Layla Musse has been left permanently scarred after she was attacked by a Staffordshire bull terrier on December 3 while walking home from Ebor Gardens Primary School in Burmantofts.
Layla sustained extensive injuries to her face and neck and underwent surgery for four and a half hours after the dog escaped from a garden in Haslewood Drive.
Yesterday, District Judge Roy Anderson ruled at Leeds Magistrates’ Court that the dog should be not be destroyed as it had not attacked anyone before and ordered the dog’s 56-year-old owner Sharman O’Flaherty to pay £500 compensation to the family.
Speaking at the family home in Haslewood Close, Layla’s mother Nasteho Aden, 34, said: “Layla still has nightmares about the attack and is terrified of seeing the dog again. This should not have happened and I’m terrified that the same thing will happen again.
“We are devastated about the verdict and the dog coming back that easily, it really is a nightmare.”
Nasteho explained how the incident happened after she had picked Layla up from school.
“The dog was inside the fence and we crossed the road because it was barking so much and scaring the kids.
“We started talking to our neighbours and my son Yonis saw the dog running towards us and I told him to run home and get my husband.”
Nasteho said she pleaded with the dog’s owner to restrain the animal as it began to jump on her.
Layla was hiding behind her mother as the dog began to jump, but was exposed when Nasteho stumbled as she attempted to fight the dog off with a school bag.
Nasteho said: “The dog jumped on Layla and began to bite the back of her neck.
“I tried to protect her as she began to scream that the dog had bitten her.
“There was a lot of blood and I was terrified that it was going to kill her as it tried to get to her face.”
Two neighbours who were driving past at the time of the attack jumped out of their car and pulled the dog away.
Nasteho said: “I can’t thank them enough for what they did. It takes a lot of bravery for someone to restrain a dog like that.”
Yorkshire Voice contacted Mrs O’Flaherty’s lawyer for a comment but has not yet received a response.