14/08/2014 16:58 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Dog Owner Found Not Guilty After His Pet Mauled Toddler

Ross Parry

A dog owner has been told that he will not have to destroy his pet after it savaged a three-year-old boy and left him needing 100 stitches.

Trafford-James Jackson-Poole needed surgery on his left cheek and suffered a fractured eye socket after the brutal mauling at a pub in Newbold near Chesterfield in 2012. He has been left with a permanent scar.

However, Derby Crown Court found the dog's 63-year-old owner Les Kirk-Kingstone - the pub's manager - not guilty of failing to control the animal.

The toddler was with his mother, Gemma Jackson, 29, and his dad James Poole, 31, when he wandered into another room at the Nag's Head pub and was bitten in the face by the Japanese Akita, called Tyber.

Gemma said: "I heard a barking noise and then Trafford-James came in holding his face. The first thing I thought was 'is he going to die?'

"I was in complete shock. He has been quite lucky because it could have been so much worse. It' s frightening to think what could have happened."

After the attack, Mr Kirk-Kingstone gave up his job and 'lost three stones in weight with worry'.

He said: "I would rather have gone to prison that have my dog destroyed. Tyber was asleep in a private room when the little boy wandered in. He jumped onto the dog to play with him but he startled Tyber because he was asleep."

Mr Kirk-Kingstone said his dog had previously saved him from a vicious street attack after two men attacked him and tried to snatch the pub's takings.

Gemma, who is also mum to Jordan, 12, would not comment on the outcome of the court case but said: "Trafford-James has been very quiet since it happened and not really himself. He still has a scar, he won't go near dogs now and is scared when he hears them barking."