A MAN whose dog attacked a three-year-old girl at a pub in Towyn has been jailed.

Anthony Desmond, 43, of Owain Gwynedd, was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment at Caernarfon Crown Court today (February 5).

He had previously admitted being in charge of a dangerously out of control dog causing injury.


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Prosecuting, Thomas McLoughlin told the court that, at about 7pm on May 26, 2023, Desmond attended The Magpie and Stump pub with his 18-month-old Cane Corso dog called Frank.

The pub was hosting a “family fun day”, with the girl and her relatives present.

Rhyl Journal: Library picture of a Cane Corso dogLibrary picture of a Cane Corso dog (Image: Getty)

Only five days prior, Desmond had received a police warning in relation to an incident on April 1 when he was seen running “loose and out of control”.

At the pub, Desmond was sat in the car park, speaking to a friend who he then asked to hold Frank’s lead while he went to get a drink.

Frank then barked and “lunged aggressively” at two smaller dogs, before the girl later approached it.

After Desmond returned from the bar, he warned her not to go near Frank on several occasions, but she remained in the vicinity, and stepped forward to pet it.

When she did so, Frank “lunged” at her, injuring her forehead and narrowly missing her left eye.

Witnesses described the dog having hold of the girl, but Desmond intervened to get hold of Frank, before the girl ran away crying.

She attended Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, Bodelwyddan, where she was treated for wounds to her forehead.

Desmond was arrested two days later, when he told police: “You’re not taking my dog.”

Frank was seized, and has since been kept in police kennels, accumulating costs of £3,795.

When interviewed, he said he told the girl to leave the dog alone and could not understand why a child so young was allowed to “wander around” unsupervised.

The girl’s mother said she has been left with lasting scars, but added: “I don’t believe it was the dog’s fault. The behaviour is due to lack of training.”

Defending, Simon Killeen said the dog “wasn’t used as a weapon”, stressing that Desmond repeatedly told the girl not to go near Frank.

Mr Killeen said Desmond is “not an irresponsible dog owner”, adding there were no previous such incidents involving Frank.

Desmond, a father of three, was said to suffer from anxiety and depression and have “significantly limited” financial means.

Sentencing, Recorder Wyn Lloyd-Jones indicated that the dog be destroyed, but he agreed to postpone making this order pending an appeal against the sentence, which Mr Killen said would be made.

Recorder Lloyd-Jones told Desmond: “Dogs that are dangerously out of control are, on any view, a serious problem in our society. They kill, they cause injury; sometimes serious.

“Those like you, who are the owners and keepers of dogs, bear a heavy responsibility towards the public if a dog is taken out in public.

“There’s no getting away from the fact that she could have lost one of her eyes.

“In my judgment, this offence is so serious that only an immediate prison sentence is appropriate.”