A toddler has been scarred for life after a dog savaged his face.

John Waterson’s Staffordshire bull terrier attacked the young child, severely injuring and permanently disfiguring him.

Waterson, 34, appeared at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court for sentencing last week, having previously pled guilty to one charge.

The court heard that a couple with a toddler visited Waterson’s home in Kilwinning’s Waterside Road at around 9am on April 25, 2017.

The dog was in the kitchen and Waterson and the witnesses were in the living room.

The child’s mother was on the phone while her toddler was running around the house. The witnesses then heard the child screaming and the dog growling.

The woman and her partner immediately went to the kitchen where they saw the dog pinning the toddler to the ground with blood covering his face.

Attempts were made to get the dog off the child. This failed and eventually the mum kicked the dog off.

The dog then ran to its bed. The child was screaming, and an ambulance was called. He was taken to Crosshouse Hospital.

During this time, Waterson took his dog to a vet where it was destroyed. A nurse at the hospital contacted police to report the matter.

The child had four lacerations to his face for which he received eight stitches and he was kept in overnight.

Solicitor Colin McLaughlin acknowledged that “there will be scarring”. He also said that his client and the witnesses “were all very upset by what happened”.

He added: “The dog he had for about 12 years without incident.

“It would appear that all had been sitting in the living room and for whatever reason, something seems to have happened in the kitchen between the child and the dog.

“He destroyed the dog straight away.”

Sheriff Michael Hanlon said: “You have taken some responsibility with regards to the dog in destroying it and I will give you credit for that. Given the seriousness of this, given the lasting injury to the child, I will impose a compensation order for his benefit of £1,000.”