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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."

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