A 13-year-old girl who faces permanent scarring after being mauled in the face by a Staffordshire bull terrier has been awarded £1,000 compensation.

Croydon Crown Court heard on Tuesday how the young girl was walking home with friends eating a bag of chips when the dog attacked her on October 11 last year.

The crazed animal sent her flying to the floor and left her friends looking on helplessly as the dog, named Bullet, bit into her face drawing blood.

Although not the owner, 52 year-old Lynda Goodson, a stable owner from Garth Road, Morden, accepted the blame.

Prosecuting, Miss Jane Warren said the girl was walking along Matlock Crescent, Cheam, when the incident occured.

"She was in the middle of the group, when a dog ran from a house and jumped at her," she added.

"The dog attacked her face and she fell down, and it continued to attack her.

"Her friends could see that her face was bleeding profusely.

"A woman was then seen running forward from the house and pulling the dog away from the girl, who was still on the ground and had significant injuries."

Goodson, who pleaded guilty to being in charge of a dog which was dangerously out of control, said in a police interview that she had arrived at her son's house in Matlock Crescent and took the dog inside.

She assumed it would stay indoors but the door was not properly closed and he escaped.

Peter Marshall, defending, said the dog, which belonged to Mrs Goodson's grandson, had always been regarded as good-natured and this view was backed up by experts.

Judge Warwick McKinnon said the incident could not have been predicted and noted Mrs Goodson had acted responsibly by having the dog put down on the same day.

He also imposed a a year's conditional discharge on Mrs Goodson who said after the hearing she still couldn't think why the dog did what he did.

"It really was a tragedy and I am so very sorry about it all," she said.