Owner of four dogs that killed 14-year-old pleads guilty of animal cruelty
The owner of four dogs that mauled a 14-year-old girl to death in March of this year, has admitted to an animal cruelty offence.
Jade Lomas-Anderson, died after she was attacked by two bull mastiffs and two Staffordshire bull terriers when she was visiting a friend’s house in Wigan, Greater Manchester.
The owner of the four dogs, Beverley Concannon, has admitted to causing unnecessary suffering to the animals, between July 19th last year and March 25th this year, that went on to kill the teenager.
She was reported to have subjected the animals to “an environment that was detrimental to their well-being” and it was also stated that she knew or ought to have reasonably known what she had done.
The 45-year-old pleaded guilty to the offence at a hearing, which took place at Wigan Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.
The charge, which was brought under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, carries with it a maximum six-month prison sentence, and Concannon could also be fined and banned from keeping animals.
An alternative charge of not ensuring the welfare of the dogs between the same dates was dropped, as was a third count of causing unnecessary suffering on March 26 when the dogs were shot by the police.
Jade was visiting a friend at Concannon’s former home in Atherton, near Wigan, when she was attacked by the animals.
The Police were then called to the premises following reports that a girl was discovered unconscious and a number of dogs were “out of control”.
When discovered, Jade’s body was found to have injuries that were consistent with a dog attack. Armed officers were then called in to shoot dead all four dogs at the scene of the incident.
The victim’s mother, Shirley, and stepfather Michael, who have launched a campaign for tougher laws around dangerous animal ownership, were not at the hearing.
Paul Taylor, prosecuting, told the court the guilty plea was acceptable to the Crown.
He said the decision not to charge the defendant with manslaughter had been made at the "highest level" of the Crown Prosecution Service.
District Judge Mark Hadfield, who was Adjourning proceedings, said: “This lady is of previous good character.
"The very, very serious nature of the offence means the court needs a report before sentence."
Concannon bowed her head in the dock throughout the brief hearing, and was granted unconditional bail until sentencing on October 18.