Jail term for baby death dog owner
A dog owner whose banned pit bull terrier mauled an 11-month-old baby to death has been jailed for 18 weeks.
Lee Wright, 27, was found guilty of possessing a dangerous dog after a two day trial at Blackburn Magistrates' Court.
Wright pleaded not guilty to having in his possession or custody a fighting dog which killed Ava-Jayne Corless in February last year as he and the baby's mother slept.
He is banned from keeping any dog for five years.
Passing sentence, District Judge Gerald Chalk said: "It is my intention to send you to prison today. I found you guilty, I accept culpability is not the highest because you did not know the dog was a pit bull type.
"You allowed a dog of nine stone in weight to have contact with a young child asleep in your bed. You were aware that dog had access. That dog killed that child in an offence of the gravest harm imaginable.
"Only a custodial sentence can be justified. You clearly felt the tragedy and have shown some remorse."
He was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison. He is also banned from keeping a dog for a period of five years.
District Judge Chalk added: "I ask you to think very carefully in the next five years to think whether you are in a fit state to keep a dog."
He must also pay a statutory victim surcharge.
Speaking after the case a Lancashire Constabulary police spokesman said: "This was an absolutely horrific incident in which a baby girl lost her life and first and foremost our thoughts remain with Ava-Jayne's family. Her death was tragic and wholly avoidable were it not for Lee Wright having in his possession an animal which was clearly capable of causing serious injury."