Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

BULLDOGS SAVAGED BOY,15; Company Boss Spared from Prison BOSS IS SPARED JAIL OVER DOGS' ATTACK

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

BULLDOGS SAVAGED BOY,15; Company Boss Spared from Prison BOSS IS SPARED JAIL OVER DOGS' ATTACK

Article excerpt

Byline: GARETH LIGHTFOOT gareth.lightfoot@eveninggazette.co.uk

A BUSINESSMAN whose two American bulldogs savaged a 15-year-old boy, has been allowed to keep his freedom - partly to save his workforce.

Gary Bloomfield, 44, above, was told he deserved to go to prison for failing to keep his lethal animals away from the public.

But the 16 employees in his construction company could lose their job if he was locked up, Teesside Crown Court heard yesterday. "Goodness knows jobs are precious in this area," said Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC. Bloomfield walked from court with a six-month prison sentence suspended for two years with 200 hours' unpaid work and a bill of more than PS5,000. He must pay PS3,500 compensation to the traumatised teenager, who thought the dogs would kill him as they bit the back of his head. Prosecutor Louise Harrison said Bloomfield's two American bulldogs firstly attacked two border terriers while loose outside his home on the morning of March 20.

One of the terriers was taken to the vet's with puncture wounds and tears to its back. Neighbours reported a number of attacks from the dogs between 2009 and 2012. Bloomfield accepted blame and moved the dogs to a compound at his workplace on the North Tees Industrial Estate in Stockton. But they were loose again there on September 10 and attacked the 15-year-old boy on Hugo Court. The teenager said he was petrified as one of the dogs immediately jumped on him, pushing him to the floor. He said the animals were so heavy he couldn't move his head. He felt lucky he landed on his front, stopping them getting to his throat. Bloomfield and one of his relatives pulled the dogs away and the boy was taken to hospital with numerous wounds.

The boy later said in a statement he was left physically and mentally scarred. …

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