A Balliang family is in a bitter court dispute, after a seven-year-old girl was allegedly mauled by the family’s prized kelpie.
Yesterday the Ballarat Magistrates Court heard the prosecution’s case for Anthony, Stuart and Denise Wilson, who were each charged with offences relating to injury caused by dog bite for the incident that allegedly occurred last year.
On June 22 last year, the seven-year-old girl was allegedly bitten in the face by Kelpie “Mack” on her grandparents’ Balliang property, near Bacchus Marsh.
Stuart and Denise Wilson are the grandparents and Anthony Wilson is the uncle of the victim.
The trio share ownership of the dog and were babysitting the seven-year-old at the time of the alleged attack.
The court heard the girl was sitting on top of a farm ute with the dog, while her uncle and grandfather worked underneath it.
The girl said she patted the dog between the ears when the dog started biting her.
“Then he started biting me ... I kept saying ‘uncle Tone’,” she said.
Prosecution witness, surgeon Dr Michael Lowe said the girl had sustained lacerations and abrasions to her face, lost a tooth and required surgery as a result of the incident.
“Her whole face is swollen but you can see the swelling (around her eyes) because her eyelids are thinner,” Dr Lowe said, referring to photographic evidence of the girl’s injuries in court.
“She had lacerations to the inside of her mouth.”
Defence lawyer Phil Brown asked Mr Lowe whether the girl could have sustained the injuries from a fall.
“Yes I can’t rule out other causes,” Dr Lowe said.
Prosecution witness and medical practitioner Dr John Gall said she could have sustained injuries by falling on the tool box on the back of the ute.
“Yes, you could sustain a laceration. I can’t exclude that,” Dr Gall said.
Five of the seven prosecution witnesses were called in day one of the proceedings, including the victim and her mother, Dr Lowe, Dr Gall and Moorabool Shire Council community safety officer Glenn Burns.
The hearing before magistrate Peter Mithen continues today.