Girl 2, whose jaw was ripped off in horrific attack by family dog before father kills it with a kitchen knife

Posted on 6:20 PM by Sameer Shah

A two-year-old was in a critical condition tonight after she was horrifically attacked by her family dog.

Taylor Leadbeater has undergone facial reconstruction surgery and tissue from her cheeks following the vicious mauling.

The French Bullmastiff dog suddenly turned on her while she was playing with toys in her bedroom.

Her distraught father wrestled the dog off her, dragged it into the back garden and stabbed it to death with a kitchen knife on yesterday afternoon.

Taylor was taken to hospital and has had 70 stitches put into her face after an operation today. She is due to undergo another operation to deep wounds below her eye tomorrow.

Her parents, Gareth and Charlene Leadbeater and brother Ronnie, six, were at her side last night.

The male dog is not an illegal breed but had been kept at the family’s home with a female French Bullmastiff who is in season and an Alsatian.
Her grandmother Alison Leadbeater last night said her daughter had asked vets to put the dog down two weeks ago after it bit her brother Gary’s hand, but they had refused.

She said: ‘Taylor was playing with the drawers and toys in her bedroom and the dog suddenly snapped.

‘Her father Gareth heard him growl and grabbed the dog off of her, but it was too late.

‘Taylor has serious facial injuries and has already had 70 stitches following one operation. Her bone structure is fine, but there is a lot of damage to her face. She will have to have a lot of operations.’

Mrs Leadbeater said vets had offered to ‘retrain’ the dog after her daughter had asked for it to be put down because of its recent aggressive behaviour.

She claimed vets told the family that the breed was not illegal and not normally aggressive.

‘The dog was a family pet and only had been fine for years’, she added.

‘He only started getting aggressive recently when he bit my son’s hand.

Charlene was worried about his behaviour and spoke to the vets as she was concerned about the children.

‘But they said they could retrain the animal and they could not put it down.

'The dog was lovely but turned into a killing machine because of how aggressive it was getting.'

A next-door neighbour told how his wife saw the incident.

The man told the Evening Standard: 'He was playing with the dog and he turned away and the dog bit the girl on the face.

'He chased the dog out into the garden and was punching and kicking it and that's where he stabbed it with a knife.]

'My wife saw that and started screaming. We haven't been living here very long and their dogs do bark a lot and don't get on with the other dogs in the street.'

The French Bullmastiff breed is not covered under the Dangerous Dogs act.

The family's other two dogs have been taken from their semi-detached house in Eltham, South London and placed into police care while they are investigating. They are not described as dangerous.

It is understood the police received assistance from the RSPCA, who are believed to have taken away two other dogs that were at the house.

The incident comes amid growing concern about the use of dangerous dogs as status symbols and weapons.

Last week, Chrisdian Johnson, 22, was jailed for life, with a minimum term of 24 years, after using his powerfully-built pitbull-cross dog as a weapon to savage 16-year-old Seyi Ogunyemi.

As his slightly-built victim lay helpless on the ground, Johnson carried out a 'vicious murder' with a knife before fleeing the scene covered in blood.

Judge Christopher Moss, sentencing, told Johnson the dog had been used as a 'fearsome' weapon - 'trained to attack and bring down your prey'.

The French Mastiff - also called the Bordeaux Bulldog - is a relatively short, stocky mastiff.

According to breeders it usually has a good and calm temperament. They are renowned for being extremely loyal, patient and devoted.

Fearless and confrontational with strangers, they make a first class watch and guard dog.

The French Mastiff can be aggressive to other dogs unless they are socialised from an early age. The breed is usually gentle with children.

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