€150k for girl (12) left scarred by Rottweiler attack

By Tim Healy

ThIS is the 12-year-old girl who was "thrown around like a rag doll" in an attack by a Rottweiler and has now settled her High Court action for €150,000.

Lauren Kelly suffered injuries to her arm which has left her with significant scarring, the court heard.

Lauren was only nine years of age when the dog, which was out on the public road, attacked and mauled her as she went "hunting the wren" with friends on St Stephen's Day in 2011.

Her mum Marcella said that the little girl is recovering, but it has been a "long road".

"She has a bad arm, she's badly scarred ... but other than that, she's flying," she said.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told that Marcella Kelly ran to her daughter's assistance and threw herself on top of the child in an effort to protect her.

The youngster, through her father Michael Kelly, Abbey Court, Abbeylara, Co Longford, sued William Crawford of Cloonaghmore, Abbeylara, who was the owner of the Rottweiler.

It was claimed the dog was allowed to escape or to stray on to the road in circumstances where he attacked Lauren as she walked along the road. It was further claimed no steps were taken to ensure the dog could not escape by jumping a wall. The claims were denied.

Lauren, it was claimed, was bitten on the arm numerous times and the dog continued the attack when the child's mother tried to protect her.

Lauren was taken to hospital where it was found that she had 26 puncture wounds and multiple injuries to her right upper arm from the base of her neck and down her shoulder. She had to have skin grafts and has been left with more than 20 scars on her right arm.

William Penrose BL told the court the young girl had "thrown around like a rag doll" during the attack and spent a month in hospital.

Lauren suffered significant scarring to her arm and has to wear a sleeve while swimming.

"She has a fear of large dogs now," counsel added.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Cross said Lauren had been left with significant scarring and was seriously traumatised by the incident.