'˜I am so sorruy': Father of tragic Havant baby'sÂ apology after dogÂ attackÂ ruins runner's marathon hopesÂ
A MAN whose baby son tragically diedÂ has avoided a dog ban after his pet left a runner scarred in a freak attack.
Wayne OlivaresÂ was given a community orderÂ at Portsmouth Magistrates' Court afterÂ he admittedÂ being in charge of his seven-year-old Staffordshire terrier, Bronson,Â when it bit runner Craig Dapson last year.
Olivares, 29,Â was walking the rescue dogÂ on a lead along Hartley Road in North EndÂ on November 8, when he was faced by the victim after turning a corner.
Bronson was then '˜startled', jumped and bit Mr Dapson in the stomach '“Â leaving him floored in pain with abdominal scars to follow.
Lian Webster-Martin, mitigating, said until that point Bronson had been '˜filling the void' of Mr Olivares' baby son, Max, who he used to visit in hospital with his partner Hannah as the tot battledÂ pulmonary vein stenosis.
Crowds of mourners paid a heartfelt farewell toÂ the 16-month-old at hisÂ funeral in May this year. The youngster never left hospital.
In court, district judge Anne Arnold heard the dog attack had left Mr Dapson scared to run again '“Â tarnishing his hopes of soon completing a marathon.Â
Reading the victim statement, prosecutor Giles Fletcher said: '˜The attack was a complete shock. It came out of nowhere and I could not believe the owner left the scene.'
He added: 'The scarsÂ causeÂ me embarrassment '“ I try to hide them when I go to the gym. My wife doesn't like them either.'
As a result of pulling out of two races, Mr Dapson lost Â£80 in sign-up fees '“Â and said his wife had to take time off work to care for him as he suffered '˜stabbing' pains '˜weeks after' the attack.Â
But on the day it took place, the court heard, OlivaresÂ of Wilverley Avenue, Havant, took the '˜extremely difficult' decision to have his dog destroyed.Â Â
Now sentenced to 15 days of rehabilitation activities, Olivares has penned an open apology to Mr Dapson, who was not at court.Â
He said: '˜I am so sorry. It was a sad,Â unfortunate accident '“Â wrong place, wrong time.Â
'˜I have had a lot of stress and I know [Mr Dapson] has too. But I'm glad this has all come to an end now.'Â
He added: '˜I hope in the future he can get back to how he was before and get his life back on track.Â And hopefully, his scars will heal up as well.'