A DOG is today on death row after savaging a three-year-old girl and hurling her into the air at a Hampshire pub.

A court has ordered the destruction of the two-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback cross, which lunged at the child and inflicted a “kill-type” bite as she ran past.

She will be scarred for life following the attack, which has left her “petrified” of dogs.

Sital Mond, prosecuting, told New Forest magistrates the animal was chained to a table outside the Haywain pub in Cadnam when the attack took place.

Mrs Mond said the dog, which was bigger than its victim, dragged the table as it leapt towards the girl.

She added: “According to the child’s father the dog picked her up, flung her up in the air and then pinned her to the ground by its mouth.”

Mrs Mond said the girl’s ordeal only ended when the animal was dragged off her by its owner, Aaron Clifford.

She added: “She was taken to Southampton General Hospital, where she was twice given a general anaesthetic while doctors treated her injuries, which included a cut on her upper left arm, two deep puncture wounds on her back and a wound below her left arm pit. She was in a lot of pain and will be left with scars.”

Mrs Mond read a victim impact statement written by the girl’s father.

Describing the mental trauma suffered by the child he said she began to have nightmares and often woke at night crying “doggy hurt me”.

He added: “As a result of the attack she’s totally petrified of any dog she sees in our local park. If we’re walking through town and she sees a dog she becomes hysterical and jumps into our arms.

“When she gets older she may feel she can’t have the scars on show and could develop a complex about them.”

Mrs Mond described one of the wounds as a “kill-type” bite and said the dog, called Reggie, had a history of aggressive behaviour.

Clifford, 21, of Calmore Drive, Totton, admitted being in charge of a dog that was dangerously out of control in a public place in August this year.

Susan Ridge, mitigating, said: “The defendant feels extreme remorse about what his dog did to the child. He himself phoned for an ambulance, although it seems the pub did so as well, and even went to the hospital to try to find out how she was.

“This was a well-trained dog and there was nothing to indicate that the attack was foreseeable.”

Urging the court to spare the animal’s life she added: “The defendant is a conscientious dog owner and has taken this incident extremely seriously. Without waiting for a court order he decided that the dog should not go out again without a muzzle. He has also had the animal castrated.”

However, magistrate Peter Molyneux said the animal should be destroyed.

He added: “Public safety is our concern and we feel there are no measures we could put in place that would completely ensure the public are safe.”

Clifford was told to complete 100 hours of unpaid work and pay £500 compensation to the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Mrs Ridge lodged an appeal against the destruction order on behalf of her client.