A mum had to drag a dog off her 'screaming' daughter when it bit her leg.

Alyssa Ferguson was in her garden when Rocky, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, escaped from a neighbour's house and bit the young girl on the leg.

When mum Sophie Ferguson took hold of the one-year-old dog it turned on her sinking its teeth into her leg.

It was only when neighbours and the dog's owner, Pauline Disley, intervened that the dog was pulled from its second victim.

Ms Ferguson had to have plastic surgery on her right leg after the dog escaped, jumped over a garden fence and attacked her daughter.

Disley, 55, appeared at Sefton Magistrates' Court this morning where she was told she must pay her victims compensation.

Angela Conlan, prosecuting, said Ms Ferguson had said in a statement she "indicated she had already been concerned about the dog and details how it barked all the time and would see the owners hit it with a cane."

Ms Conlan said: "She was concerned it would get through to her garden."

She told the court in a statement Ms Ferguson had said she had contacted the housing agency about the garden fence as the dog could fit its head through.

Ms Conlan said that on June 2, 2020, the dog had escaped and ran "through the open gate, jumped over the garden fence and chased after her daughter".

Ms Ferguson said she could "see Rocky was biting Alyssa" who was "screaming and crying".

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Ms Conlan said: "She took hold of Rocky who let go of Alyssa."

The dog then turned on Ms Ferguson, biting into her right leg, and neighbours ran to her aid.

Ms Ferguson said: "Rocky would continue to attack me, my daughter was desperate for someone to stop him."

Ms Conlan explained that Ms Ferguson "required extensive plastic surgery" to her leg after suffering soft tissue damage in the attack.

In a police interview Disley told officers she was responsible for the dog and it must have escaped after an internal gate was left open.

Ms Conlan said: "The dog was immediately handed over for destruction, I understand it was destroyed."

Sophie Ferguson suffered three wounds to her leg, one of which was a six by two centimetre laceration, and required surgery the following day.

Ms Conlan said Alyssa had suffered a bite to her right foot and bruising "consistent with a dog bite".

Disley has no previous convictions.

She said: "Sophie confirms this was an accident" and added she said the dog had "never been aggressive before".

"It is fair to say the granddaughter of the defendant and the daughter of Sophie played together whenever Disley's granddaughter was at the property where the dog would be present and there were no other incidents with in the household."

Ms Balenski said there were dog gates in the home and explained that on June 2 last year the children had wanted to play together.

Disley had told the mum "If you want Alyssa can come round" which Ms Ferguson said was fine.

Ms Balenski explained that Disley asked her husband, John, to make sandwiches.

She said: "It's not clear who has left the gate open, nevertheless one of the internal gates was left open then the dog has escaped."

Ms Balenski said there had been no incidents suggested the dog was dangerous adding that it was a "loving family dog" which had "never shown any signs of aggression before".

She said: "As soon as the incident occured it went into the garden her husband had the dog in a headlock, neither of them could get the dog off."

Ms Balenski explained Disley called her son from the house who was able to get the dog off.

The court heard Disley contacted police and after the incident said "I can't have that dog in my house now" and the dog was destroyed.

Ms Balenski said it was a "very tragic accident" which "couldn't have been foreseen".

She added that Disley had admitted the offence and "expressed remorse" at the time of the incident.

Ms Baleski explained that Disley suffers from a number of health issues including anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, osteoporosis and epilepsy.

Disley admitted one ount of being an owner in charge of a dog dangerously out of control.

District Judge Andrew Shaw, sentencing, said: "You adopted a responsible attitude to what happened at the scene. You admitted matters and cooperated with police.

"I accept also you are of high regard in your neighbourhood."

The district judge said: "There is nothing to indicate the dog had a dangerous disposition beforehand, therefore it remains a mystery as to why he actually did what he did. Clearly he is a powerful dog."

Disley was handed a 10 week curfew which will run from 7pm to 7am.

She must also pay £600 in compensation to the mum and daughter.