24/10/2011 06:14 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Boy Mauled By Dog Who Was Given Stella Artois Lager To Drink

Staffordshire bull terrior given Stella Artois lager to drink mauls boy PA/file pic

A court has heard how a Staffordshire bull terrier was given Stella Artois lager to drink just moments before it mauled a ten-year-old boy, scarring him for life.

Joseph Pickering was attacked by the dog - called Diesel - shortly after it was given the strong larger by Paul Ashworth, the uncle if its owner, James Holmes, 24.

Ashworth claims he gave the dog the drink because it was 'panting like mad' after a walk. A witness, Julie Hind, told Burnley Magistrates' Court he had said, 'the beer wouldn't hurt.'

Describing what happened after the dog had the drink, she said: "Joseph leaned over the gate and put both hands on the dog. I heard a snap and saw bleeding."

James Holmes, of Colne, Lancs, admitted having a dangerous dog and was ordered by the magistrates to keep it under control.

Joseph's mother, Carolann Dickson, 43, said the decision not to destroy the animal was 'disgusting':

"I remember Joseph shouting, 'Help, help'. I could almost see his skull - it was awful.

"He said in the ambulance, 'Mum, am I going to die?' That's not something any mother wants to hear. The dog should have been destroyed and that's that."

Joseph has undergone skin grafts to repair the damage caused by the dog, and still has nightmares about the incident.

What do you think?
Should the dog have been put down?