Radio Sandwell Local News

Man jailed after pit bull savaged schoolboy on bus

2015-06-29 20:55:22

Leon MorrisLeon Morris

A 13-year-old schoolboy was savaged by a pit bull on a Birmingham bus after its owner ordered the animal to 'get him'.

And when the victim and a friend fled the vehicle they were chased by the animal which sank his teeth into the boy for the second time.

Dog owner Leon Morris, 38, of Gravelly Hill North, Erdington, has now been jailed for 20 months for the attack after he admitted causing injury by having a dog that was dangerously out of control.

He was also banned from keeping a dog for seven years.

Judge Paul Farrer QC said that for reasons that were unclear Morris had chosen to take offence at something the 13-year-old boy said.

“You looked directly at him and you instructed the dog to ‘get him,” he said. “You used your dog as a weapon.

"This took place in a public place and it was a prolonged incident. You ran the risk of causing serious injury to that child.”

Gurdeep Garcha, prosecuting at Birmingham Crown Court, said on December 5 last year the boy and his friend, also 13, had got on the 904 bus at the Square Peg in the city centre.

They had gone up to the top deck to be confronted by Morris, standing in the middle of the aisle.

“He had with him a tan coloured pit bull style dog. The dog was running around and barking.”

Mr Garcha said the response to the defendant’s command was to jump up at the youngster and bite him on the right knee. The youngster felt pain and saw blood coming through his jeans.

He said that “unsurprisingly” both boys ran back down stairs but a few minutes later Morris came down with the dog which continued to run up and down the aisle and was described as “going mad.”

The defendant then became involved in an altercation with someone else and the boys got off the bus in Erdington.

However they then saw the animal was chasing them and they both ran to a deserted area.

They both climbed up on to a pile of rubble but the dog still managed to bite the victim on his right leg.

Mr Garcha said he was later treated in hospital where he was given a tetanus and antibiotics.

He said Morris was eventually arrested in February this year after the boy, while out with his mother, spotted him with the dog near New Street Station and the matter was reported to a police support officer.

Rachel Pennington, defending, said Morris was remorseful for what happened and the dog, which he loved, had not previously exhibited any aggressive behaviour.

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