Defence lawyer, Iain Hingston, said that the incident was “unfortunate and tragic” but argued for Sheriff Summers to let the animal live.
Mr Hingston said: “My client is gutted about what happened to this poor child, he has had the dog for four-and-a-half years since it was a puppy and it had previously played happily with the child and her family.
“The dog can still be allowed to live if it is deemed not to be a danger to public safety.
“I concede that the injuries here are serious but the dog has never behaved like that before, the court should conclude that the dog’s past behaviour is demonstrably good.
“The dog is of good character and has regularly been out on walks with children of all ages without causing any problems whatsoever.
“I am not trying to sway the court in terms of heartstrings but the destruction of the dog would have a profound effect on my client and his family.”....put the owner down. As well.
Because anyone that could put the life of an animal that has severely disfigured a 22 month old baby before public safety deserves not to be able to live in that society.
Sheriff Summers remained unmoved as he ordered the destruction of the American bulldog. He told Ritchie: “Owning an animal of that size carries a responsibility which you failed in.
“Your behaviour in leaving it unsupervised was grossly irresponsible, the child has been left horrifically injured and permanently disfigured.
“Her injuries are life-changing and will affect her every day for the rest of her life. “The consequences of your actions will reverberate beyond the present effect on her family.”
He added that the dog was “obviously” capable of lashing out and causing injury again and ordered that it be killed in the interests of public safety.
Sheriff Summers also ordered the accused to perform 180 hours of community service in the next year and banned him from keeping a dog for five years.Should have been a lifetime ban. But it's nice to hear some stern words from the judge.