One of Cambridgeshire's oddest traditions gets under way this morning...
Southend: Man Jailed Over Dog Attack
A builder's been jailed for 16 months after his Rottweiler mauled a young boy in Southend.
29-year-old Rowan Diedrick of Avenue Road, London, N14, has also been banned from owning a dog for ten years following the incident.
He was walking two Rottweilers off of the lead along the beach on August 5th 2011 when one of them ran into the water, grabbed the seven-year-old across the chest and forced him under the water.
The boy's grandmother managed to pull him from the dog's jaws before Diedrick made off with both dogs.
The boy was left with several puncture wounds to his torso and arms and underwent three lots of surgery but has made a good recovery.
Diedrick was arrested after a member of the public identified him from a CCTV clip released by Essex Police.
He was arrested on February 12, 2012 and charged with being in charge of a dog allowing it to be dangerously out of control in a public place and cause injury.
He pleaded guilty at Basildon Crown Court on March 19, 2012 and was sentenced at the same court on June 26, 2012.
Investigating officer Pc James Crabb said: "Rowan Diedrick allowed his dog to be dangerously out of control on a beach in the height of summer.
"His irresponsible behaviour led to a young boy being trapped between the dog's jaws and left with horrific injuries, both physical and emotional. It is almost impossible to imagine how anyone could watch a child being severely mauled before simply running away.
"The young boy was lucky not to have been even more seriously injured thanks to the intervention of his grandmother and I would like to praise them both for their bravery. I'd also like to thank all members of the public who helped with our investigation.
"If you are a dog owner please think carefully and responsibly about where you walk your dog and make sure it is under control at all times."
The sentencing comes just days after the launch of a new scheme designed to promote responsible dog ownership in Southend.
Dog Watch, which launched on Wednesday, June 20, 2012, aims to educate owners to become more responsible, and to allow authorities to share information about incidents and problem pets.
For information about Dog watch contact Chris English at Southend CDRP on 0300 333 4444 ext 470414, 07917 158326 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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