A WOMAN has appeared in court after a large Staffie cross dog bit her 20 month old daughter to the face in what was described as every parent’s worst nightmare.

Defendant Jasmin Hardie-Clay, 19, had punished herself every day since the incident more that the court could punish her, magistrates were told.

The defendant admitted that the Ridgeback/ Staffordshire cross named Bud, was dangerously out of control at Monger Road, Wrexham, in April.

But in the circumstances she was given a three year conditional discharge.

North East Wales Magistrates’ Court at Mold was told that Bud, owned by a relative, had since been signed over to the police and had been destroyed.

Prosecutor Rhian Jackson said that the dog had previously snapped at the child.

In April, the defendant heard a growl. She turned and saw that the dog had bitten the little girl’s face.

The child had suffered bite marks which required hospital attention.

She may need medical intervention in the future, the prosecutor explained.

Police arrived and the dog was in the back garden.

It had been seized and signed over for destruction.

Andy Halliday, defending, said that it was every parent and dog owner’s worst nightmare.

The little girl and the dog had grown up together. There had been a previous incident when she grabbed his tail and he said the dog growled.

But that was a long time ago and his client did not believe that there were any issues.

Mr Halliday said he himself was a dog owner and if he disturbed his pet’s eating then he would not be happy either.

They were together as she played with her toys and for no apparent reason the dog had bitten her to the face.

It immediately ran away and jumped over a baby gate, knowing it had done something wrong, he said.

The ambulance was called, the police arrived and the dog had immediately been signed over.

It had been decided by the prosecution that it was in the public interest to prosecute because of the injuries the child had suffered. Fortunately the injuries were healing well.

Mr Halliday said that it was a friendly and loveable dog despite its size and the family had been unable to understand why it had reacted as it did.

It was accepted that the starting point for such a case was custody but he asked magistrates to treat it as an exceptional case as the family would have to live with what happened.

Mr Halliday told the court: “No punishment that the court can give is going to be worse that the way she has punished herself over what has happened on a daily basis,” he said.