Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Owner of Jade attack dogs in court

The owner of four dogs that mauled teenager Jade Lomas-Anderson to death is appearing in court
The owner of four dogs that mauled teenager Jade Lomas-Anderson to death is appearing in court

The owner of four dogs that mauled a teenage girl to death are due to appear in court accused of animal cruelty offences.

Jade Lomas-Anderson, 14, died after she was attacked by two bull mastiffs and two Staffordshire bull terriers in Wigan, Greater Manchester, on March 26.

She was visiting a friend at the former home of Beverley Concannon in Chaucer Grove, Atherton, when the incident took place.

Police were called to the scene following reports a girl was unconscious and a number of dogs were out of control.

Following the discovery of Jade's body, armed officers shot dead the four dogs.

Concannon, 45, of Almond Grove, Worsley Hall, Wigan, has been charged with three offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and will appear at Wigan Magistrates' Court.

Earlier this month the Crown Prosecution Service said there was insufficient evidence to bring a charge of manslaughter by gross negligence against her.

It also said it could not bring any charges under the Dangerous Dogs Act because the four dogs were not banned breeds and were not out of control in a public place.

The allegations Concannon faces relate to the conditions in which she kept the dogs at her home address and her alleged failure to exercise reasonable care and supervision.

Magistrates can impose a maximum jail sentence of 51 weeks and/or a fine of up to £20,000 for anyone convicted of offences under the Animal Welfare Act.

In June, Jade's mother Shirley and stepfather Michael visited Westminster to urge the Government to tighten the laws around dangerous animal ownership.

They said the Government's Dangerous Dogs (Amendment) Bill should be toughened ''to prevent what we are going through from happening to other people''.

The Bill aims to remove the immunity from prosecution of dog owners whose animal attacks someone on private property.

Under the plans for England and Wales, announced in February, a dog owner could be prosecuted if they fail to stop their dog attacking someone on their own, or someone else's property.

The Bill was designed to protect people who visit houses as part of their job, such as postal workers, utility staff and healthcare employees.

Last week, Mr and Mrs Anderson launched Jade's Campaign - in conjunction with Wigan Council - which aims to encourage owners to be responsible and control their dog's behaviour.

The couple helped stage an awareness event on the estate where Jade lived as owners were offered advice and practical help such as free microchipping.

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz