Dog in attack on toddler 'had bitten officer in drugs raid’
A DOG that attacked a two-year-old boy, leaving him with horrific facial injuries, had previously bitten a police officer during a drugs raid, it was claimed yesterday.
PC Mark Giles was said to have gone to the aid of Keiron Guess after being called to the same street where the drugs raid took place.
The toddler had been playing in an alley behind his home in Swindon on Sunday evening when he was attacked by the animal, believed to be a Staffordshire bull terrier. It had escaped from a neighbouring garden.
Keiron was flown to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol where he had seven hours of surgery on his face. He was said to be in a stable condition last night after being placed in an induced coma to prevent him from moving.
Police said the dog’s owner, Garfield King, handed the animal over to be destroyed. No arrests had been made.
Mr King yesterday appeared to blame Keiron's family for the attack, saying: "If you’re a parent, you have to look after your children 24 hours a day. If it wasn’t a dog, it could have been a paedophile.”
Keiron’s grandfather, Sean Leonard, said the dog was known to be dangerous and should have been put down “long ago”.
He praised Keiron’s other grandfather, Dave Guess, 49, for saving the boy’s life after rushing out of the family home, where a jubilee party was being held, after he heard screams.
Mr Leonard, 46, said Keiron lost an ear in the attack and also suffered terrible injuries to his nose and an eye. “I’ve seen nothing like it,” he said. “He has injuries from his forehead right down to his chin.”
Mr Leonard added: “His other granddad came to help him pretty quickly and he got bitten on the hand and arms. He said the dog just kept coming back for more.
“He managed to pull Keiron onto his shoulders but the dog was still jumping up at him. He undoubtedly saved Keiron’s life.”
PC Giles, a member of Wiltshire Police’s armed response team, had spoken about being bitten by one of two dogs at the neighbouring house, in Swanage Walk, while taking part in a drugs raid.
He said the dog was so ferocious that even after he had stunned the animal with a Taser gun, it still came at him.
“The owner was trying to control the two of them but they were trying to fight each other and get at us,” said the officer. “I had to deploy my Taser in order to try and prevent them from attacking, but one of them leapt up and bit me even after I hit it in the mouth. It got me on my trigger finger.”
Mr Leonard said he recognised PC Giles after he attended the scene following the family’s 999 call on Sunday.
“That was the same policeman who turned up yesterday and he walked straight back into that house knowing the dog had bit him. Fair play to him,” added Mr Leonard.
Keiron lives with his pregnant mother Stacey, 22, father Anthony, a scaffolder, and his brother McKenzie, four.
Mr Leonard said: “He’s been so brave. He is stable now and his parents are at his bedside.
“They are doing brilliantly — they are both young — but coping well.
“The whole community is in complete shock. Everyone pulled together really well yesterday.”