A PENSIONER was told to "hang his head in shame" by a judge after he refused to reveal the location of his dangerous dogs who attacked a young boy.

Fredrick Farnsworth, 73, has been jailed for 18 months after accepting responsibility for the dogs who ran at Lewis Barkley, 11, as he played football with friends.

Yet despite an order for the dogs to be destroyed, Farnsworth is refusing to give away the location of the animals.

Lewis needed more than 300 stitches and underwent four hours of surgery at Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool.

To add to his traumatic experience, he contracted deadly sepsis from the teeth punctures.

Lewis and another friend had been playing in a caged area at around 5pm in June in a park just off Stapleton Avenue.

Dog walkers Shane Oosthuizen and Megan Herbert saw the terrified children try to climb onto a raised area to escape.

Heroically, Mr Oosthuizen dragged the animals off Lewis, who was apparently screaming: "I think I'm going to die."

The court heard that Farnsworth "slowly ran over to help", but that Mr Oosthuizen was the driving force when it came to saving the boys.

Judge Gary Woodhall said that the pensioner should "hang his head in shame" after the sheer lack of remorse shown towards the young boy.

A police officer told Liverpool Crown Court that Lewis was "crying hysterically" as he bled from his face and chest.

Farnsworth had been walking the dogs without collars or leads, despite them running off and ripping apart a football earlier that day.

He told the court that he didn't even know the names of the dogs and that they are owned by a man called Mark, who is in prison.

Shortly after the attack, the dogs disappeared from a garage owned by the grandfather.

Liverpool Crown Court heard Farnsworth denied perverting the course of justice by allegedly misleading police over the location of the dogs.

He said that after the attack he took the dogs home and locked them in the garage before he went back to the park, but when he returned with police they had gone.

He was set to stand trial but prosecutors were forced to drop the charge after conceding there was not a realistic prospect of a conviction.

He is the guardian of his 16-year-old grandson, who will be put under the care of his wife while he serves time.

Judge Woodhall said: "You claimed to not know where they had gone. I don't accept that.

"You know full well where those dogs are and you're refusing to assist the authorities in finding them.

"What if it was your 16-year-old grandson? What message would it send to you and the public if the person responsible did nothing to ensure the dogs could be found?"

In a pre-sentence report, Farnsworth said that he would rather spend time in prison than grass up the owner, potentially putting his grandson in danger.

Farnsworth had 12 previous convictions for 19 offences, the last in 1999, mostly for dishonesty and driving matters, but also assaults in the 1960s.

The grandfather showed no emotion as he was given his jail sentence.