A TODDLER was left scarred for life and traumatised after being savaged by a German Shepherd in Windermere.

The three-year-old, who cannot be named, was with her mother and her two brothers, aged one and 12, on August 7 of last year.

The family were in the beer garden of the Grey Walls pub when they approached Martin Charles Barter and asked if they could stroke his German Shepherd.

After a few minutes the dog, a six-year-old called Bruno, let out a low growl and then bit the girl on the face.

She was taken to the Royal Preston Hospital with injuries to her cheek and eye.

At South Cumbria Magistrates’ Court yesterday prosecutor Pam Ward said: “The family asked if they could pet the dog and the defendant explained he was a six-year-old rescue dog.

“He said he was friendly with people but sometimes didn’t like other dogs.

“(The girl) stroked his back then the dog started to growl and bit (the girl) to her face and shook his head from side to side.”

The court heard that in police interview Barter, of Hothfield Drive in Appleby-in-Westmorland, said he had been staying at a holiday cottage while walking in the Lakes.

Bruno had been on a lead and tethered to the table at the time of the incident.

In a victim impact statement the girl’s mum said: “She sometimes wakes in the night crying.

“She is now petrified of any dog and says, even to strangers, that she has been bitten by a dog and shows them her face.

“She is still under a plastic surgeon.

“The consultant has advised she may need more surgery and she will be scarred for life.”

Defence solicitor Chris Evans said: “It seems to be unknown why the dog reacted in the way it did.

“There has been many occasions in the three years he has owned the dog where it has been stroked by strangers.”

Barter, 52, pleaded guilty to being in charge of a dog which was dangerously out of control.

He was fined £200 and ordered to pay a £32 victim surcharge, £85 costs and £500 compensation.

Magistrates issued a contingent destruction order requiring Bruno to be kept muzzled and on a lead at all times in public.