WARNING – GRAPHIC IMAGES: Traumatised Lewis Barkley was left with 17 bite wounds and needed hundreds of stitches – but Fredrick Farnsworth refuses to reveal where the dogs are now
An OAP has been jailed over a savage dog attack on a schoolboy who still has nightmares and needs counselling because of the horrific ordeal.
Traumatised Lewis Barkley was left with 17 bite wounds after a pair of Staffordshire Bull Terriers set upon him as he played football with a friend in a park.
The 11-year-old was rushed to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, where he needed gas and air, plus morphine, to ease the pain.
He went on to have four hours of surgery and hundreds of stitches. And he burst into tears when he saw his scars for the first time.
Lewis still relives the attack, suffers from disrupted sleep and nightmares, and has since started counselling.
Today Fredrick Farnsworth was jailed for 18 months after admitting being in charge of the dangerously out of control animals, reports the Liverpool Echo .
The 73-year-old grandfather showed no remorse and has not apologised to little Lewis.
The animals mysteriously disappeared from his garage after the attack and an order has been made for their destruction to protect the public.
But a judge blasted Farnsworth, of Speke, after he refused to reveal the identity of the dogs’ owner, or their location.
Police are still searching for the animals.
Lewis’ dad, Joshua Shields, 27, has previously called on residents to help track them down.
The dad-of-four said his son could have died in the June 24 ordeal, but for heroic Shane Oosthuizen, who bravely came to his rescue.
Mr Shields told Liverpool Crown Court: “The injuries were enough to put him on the burns ward, where he eventually needed four hours of surgery to clean wounds and 100 stitches.
“When Lewis got home, he needed constant care. He struggled to simply move around the house. Lewis couldn’t even sleep in his own bed as he couldn’t climb up into it.
“Our own dogs. who had never been any problem and valued family members, had to be kept away from Lewis, as he couldn’t cope with them being in the same room.”
Lewis developed sepsis and had to return to Alder Hey on June 29 in a “horrible setback”, before the stitches could be removed from his face.
Mr Shields said the local community rallied round and set up a fund for his son, but when trying to cheer him up, he was “just a shell of his normal self”.
The dad said: “He hardly spoke and was constantly looking around. I asked if he was okay. He told me that he was looking around for dogs.
“I just didn’t know what to say to my son. I felt helpless and angry.”
Lewis returned to Alder Hey on July 3, when more stitches were put in – taking the total to 340 – as some wounds had reopened.
His dad said: “On July 10, the dressings were all removed. This was the first time Lewis had seen the wounds. When he saw the scars and stitches, he just burst into tears.
“He was distraught when he saw his legs and just didn’t want to look at them. Lewis has scars all over his body. These will be there for the rest of his life.”
Mr Shields said his family’s “whole life was turned upside down” and Lewis was “a totally changed boy”, who simply wanted to run away when he saw dogs.
He added: “Trying to reason with Lewis, with a petrified look on his face, is heartbreaking. Speaking of heartbreak, we had to rehouse our two dogs Ruben and Scarlett.
“These were our family pets and utterly loyal to us. My 21-month-old daughter’s best friend was Scarlett. She goes around the house looking for her.
“I struggle to explain that she no longer lives here. This attack has even caused our home to be up-heaved.
“I can’t comprehend why the dog owner has not handed them in. I simply cannot fathom it.
“I have promised Lewis that we would eventually find these dogs. He doesn’t even answer. I don’t think he knows how to.
“I know I could have been planning his funeral instead of his twelfth birthday. I am so thankful for that.
“But my boy went out to play some football in the park and was almost taken from us. Had it not been for others who helped. I can’t even imagine what might have happened.
“These animals need to be taken off the streets and destroyed. This was a totally unprovoked attack on some kids who were doing nothing to cause this.
“The owner should be totally ashamed of themselves for hiding them. I am disgusted they haven’t done so – they should hang their head in shame.”
The dad said the attack felt like it happened yesterday to Lewis, whose friend was bitten on the finger and left traumatised by what he saw.
He said: “Lewis even says that his most vivid memory is being aware that Fred appeared to do little to stop them, and the words ‘they’re not my dogs!’
“He can’t even remember an apology. There has still been no remorse shown. How do you think that looks to our family?”
Mr Shields said the unrepentant grandad – who was banned from keeping animals – deserved to go to prison.
He added: “To our family he is a despicable man and no amount of being sorry would help now.
“This is a man who has willingly kept these dogs away from where they should be – destroyed.
“And if he claims he doesn’t [know where they are] then he sure as hell knows who does. We still cannot get our heads around it.”