A man whose dog savagely attacked a schoolboy leaving him with horrific injuries to his ankle has been spared jail.
Connor Stanbridge thought he would die when the pitbull - banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act - leapt over the fence and attacked him as he played on his trampoline.
Aaron Houghton, 22, of Samuel Street, Preston, was given an eight month suspended sentence at Preston Crown Court after pleading guilty to having the dog, despite knowing it was a banned breed.
Connor’s mum, Louise Dobson, said: “It will haunt me for the rest of my life.”
Connor, 11, was playing in the back garden with his friend, Aiden Harrison, when the dog jumped over the five foot fence which separated the garden from the house next door.
The dog locked on to Connor’s ankle, severing the skin and fracturing the exposed bone, while Aiden looked on in terror.
Houghton dragged the dog of the youngster and took it indoors as Aiden went to alert Louise, who was chatting to her friend over the road.
Louise said: “He was so brave - he didn’t shout out or cry because he knew it would make the dog more aggressive.
“He’s never cried. There were people crying in the street because they thought with the state of his leg he would lose his foot but Connor never cried out.”
Connor was taken to hospital where he had to have an operation for his injuries and was on crutches for a few weeks.
Thankfully he has now made a full recovery although he will bear the scars for the rest of his life.
Passing sentence Recorder Gibson told Houghton: “This was a very grave case. It was a case where undoubtedly the life of this 11-year-old boy was put in danger.
“That life was in danger because you took control of the dog which you should have known was a danger to others.
“I am also troubled that you in effect hid the dog from the authorities when the police came to see the dog.
“You returned it to the owner. What is a mystery is why you ever accepted it in the fist place.
“I hope you have learned your lesson. I hope that is a lesson that will be learned by others.
I don’t know your association with the man who gave you this dog but he and you by ownership of that dog put others in danger. Fatal danger.”
He said he took into account Houghton’s “considerable remorse” when passing the sentence and ordered him to complete 250 hours of unpaid work and banned him from keeping dogs for 10 years.
Louise said: “As a mother and for what Conor has been through I feel a bit disappointed - it sends out the wrong message.
“Another five minutes with that dog and my son would not have been here.
“That will live with me even when he is a grown man and has kids of his own.
“I am so proud of my son. He has been such a brave little boy.”
Recorder Gibson ordered that the dog should be destroyed.