Woman escapes jail after four-year-old boy saved from XL Bully's jaws by neighbours in Norris Green

Neighbours on Wellesbourne Place helped keep the dog away from the boy Credit: Liverpool Echo

A woman whose XL Bully dog left a child so severely injured neighbours had to "hold his face together" has escaped jail.

The four-year-old boy was "lucky to survive" the savage attack by the dog, and was only saved thanks to quick-thinking neighbours.

He suffered a brain injury and a fracture to his head, and now has permanent scarring along his face, head and neck.

Liverpool Magistrates’ Court was told the boy's wounds were so bad a neighbour recalled having to hold his face together to stop them from opening.

Now Stacy Smith, who was looking after the dog for her boyfriend when the attack happened in Norris Green, Liverpool, has been sentenced to nine-months in jail, suspended for 18 months.

During the sentencing hearing, Smith was told "she did not do enough to intervene" when the XL Bully Nola attacked the boy on 13 August 2022.

The court heard the four-year-old approached Smith's home, in Wellsbourne Place, to ask if he could play with her son, but as she opened it, Nola pushed past her and attacked the child.

Nola quickly took the child by the head and would not let go, and as his mother started screaming, neighbours on the street were alerted and sprung into action.

The incident took place on Wellsbourne Place, in Norris Green

One, Mirislava Zaloudakova, went into the front garden and grabbed the dog by the neck and tried to pull the boy free, but Nola had his head in its mouth, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

Another neighbour, Kieran Corran, saw the blood in the front garden and ran home to grab a golf club, when he returned he used it to keep the dog away.

Along with other neighbours who had heard the screams, he was able to clear a path to the child.

When he picked the child up, he had to hold his face together to stop the wounds from opening up, the court heard.

Mr Corran then took the four-year-old to Fazakerley Hospital where he was transferred to Alder Hey Children's Hospital due to the severity of his injuries.

He suffered a fracture to his head, causing a leak of the fluid on his brain, and surgeons were able to repair it with a muscle graft, but he was left with cuts along his face, head, and neck.

Smith was eventually charged with being in charge of a dog which was dangerously out of control and whilst out of control caused injury to a child.

She pleaded guilty in May 2023, and was sentenced on 28 September, where she was also handed 60 hours of unpaid work.

Senior Crown Prosecutor Michael Cain said: "The injuries this dog inflicted on this small child were horrific. The child was very lucky to survive.

"Ms Smith did not do enough to intervene of prevent the attack. The actions of her neighbours prevented things getting very much worse."

The four-year-old still suffers headaches and flashbacks of the attack, and has been given psychological assistance.

Since the incident, Nola has been euthanised.