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Dog attack tot's mum says law too lenient

PUBLISHED: 16:43 22 September 2010 | UPDATED: 11:12 14 October 2010

THE mother of a three-year-old girl left scarred for life by a bull terrier has called for tougher sentences for irresponsible owners of so-called status dogs . Asia Tarout, 30, says her toddler Zara, who was three at the time of the attack, could have b

THE mother of a three-year-old girl left scarred for life by a bull terrier has called for tougher sentences for irresponsible owners of so-called "status dogs".

Asia Tarout, 30, says her toddler Zara, who was three at the time of the attack, could have been killed when she was mauled by a Staffordshire bull terrier outside her mother's flat in Dunoon House, on the Bemerton Estate, Islington, last December.

Her eldest daughter Zeyna, five, ran across nearby Caledonian Road to escape a second out-of-control dog. On September 10 the dogs' owner, Doris Carter, 57, also of Dunoon House, was banned from owning dogs for life and sentenced to 150 hours of unpaid community service over 12 months at Blackfriars Crown Court.

But Ms Tarout, of Highbury, told the Gazette: "I still see her [Carter] every day because she is my mum's neighbour. I still have to bring the kids here to see their grandmother. My daughter is terrified - every day it brings back the scene."

Ms Tarout, who works at Barclays Bank, in Islington Green, Islington, is currently on maternity leave after recently giving birth to a son, Ishmael. She was pregnant at the time of the dog attack, which happened just days after Christmas last December.

She said: "Community service for 150 hours is not enough. It's not going to take away the pain. These kinds of dogs are used as a weapon so people can look tough - there needs to be tougher sentences.

"If I see a dog in the street now I cross the road to the other side. Zara still has nightmares and she's still got the scars. This summer she didn't even want to wear a skirt. She's lucky she's still alive."

In February, Carter's son Gerald, 22, was given a £100 fine after admitting to trying to hide one of the dogs from police investigating the shocking attack.

Carter's two dogs were destroyed after the incident.


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