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Man and woman jailed after Jack Lis a 10-year old boy mauled to death by a dog

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A man and a woman have been jailed after a 10-year-old boy was mauled to death by a dog near where he lived, according to the BBC.

Jack Lis died following the attack at a house in Caerphilly on 8 November 2021.

Brandon Hayden, 19, from Penyrheol, Caerphilly, was jailed for four-and-a-half years at Cardiff Crown Court after admitting to owning or being in charge of a dangerously out-of-control dog.

Amy Salter, 29, of Trethomas, Caerphilly, was jailed for three years for the same offence.

Hayden and Salter had both pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.

Jack was a pupil at Cwm Ifor Primary School in Caerphilly and died at the scene in a house on the housing estate.¬†Jack’s family described him as the “sweetest of boys”

The attack happened shortly after he had left school, around 16:00 GMT on 8 November, when he had been playing nearby and then went to the house.

He was mauled to death by the American or XL Bully dog called “Beast” and suffered “unsurvivable” injuries to the head and neck.

Beast was shot and killed by armed police, who later confirmed the dog was not a banned breed in the UK.

‘Not good with other dogs’

Cardiff Crown Court heard Hayden had bought Beast on 3 November and had asked Salter to look after it for a short time. The pair had been friends for about six months.

Beast weighed 96.5lbs (43.7kg)

The court heard Hayden had responded to an advert offering Beast “free to a good home” and that the seller had stated the “dog was not good with other dogs”.

Prosecutor Gareth James said it showed there was “an initial understanding that there were some issues with Beast”.

CCTV was played to the court of Hayden and Beast from outside the Top Stores shop in Penyrheol in the days before the attack on Jack, where the dog jumped up at a number of people, including children.

The footage showed Hayden, at times, being dragged along by the dog, struggling to keep it under control.

Salter was also in some of the footage. At one point Beast bit her hand, before being hit several times on the head by Hayden after letting go.

Jack died at the scene on the Caerphilly housing estate

On the day of the attack, the dog was walked by Hayden before going to a house on the estate at about 15:00.

The court heard when Jack went into the house not long afterwards, he stroked Beast’s head, but the dog jumped up at him and pushed him to the floor. He then began to attack the boy.

A neighbour, Kirk Wiebold, eventually came to help and saw Jack being attacked through a pane of glass in the door.

The court heard when Hayden arrived at the scene he was “freaking out” and left when the police arrived.

A crowd gathered outside the house, including Jack’s parents, and there was initially some confusion over how many children were in the house.

Police then had to tell Jack’s parents he had died, Mr James said.

Jack was attacked after going to a house after school

The dog, which weighed 96.5lbs (43.7kg), was shot dead in an upstairs bedroom. Hayden and Salter were arrested the following day.

Mr James said Hayden told police “as far as he was concerned the dog belonged to Miss Salter”. Salter told police she “felt under a bit of pressure about the set-up” with Beast.

Salter cried throughout the hearing, with Hayden showing no emotion.

‘Status symbol’

In deeply emotional statements read to the court, Jack’s mother Emma Whitfield and father John Lis described the impact of losing their son.¬†Later, speaking outside court after the hearing, Jack’s mother accused Hayden of showing “no remorse or respect” for her son.

“This has been the consequence of someone wanting a status symbol,” she said.

“This animal was not a family pet… it was made to be this way and there was absolutely no intent on anyone calming it from the moment it was born.”

She added: “More needs to be done regarding the law to prevent these types of owners and to prevent this situation from happening again.”

Jack’s family were in court for the sentencing

Hayden had also admitted three counts of being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control and two counts of being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control causing injury.

These offences happened between 4 and 7 November, before the attack on Jack, and two of those incidents resulted in injuries to two members of the public, Michael Ball and Sian Sullivan.

Both Hayden and Salter were told they would be banned indefinitely from owning dogs when they are released from custody.

‘Heart-wrenching loss’

Judge Michael Fitton QC said Jack’s death was an utterly tragic and needless event.

To Salter, he said: “You were present when the dog behaved aggressively, in my judgement you knew the decision to keep the dog was utterly irresponsible.”

The judge said to Hayden: “You knew the seller was getting rid because it was not good with other dogs, you knew there were issues, it should have been clear that a serious incident was increasingly likely.”

Ch Insp Michelle Chaplin, from Gwent Police, the senior investigating officer on the case, said: “Those who had known this dog would have known about its unsuitable temperament and the danger that the animal could pose to a child.”

Ryan Randall, of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said: “Our thoughts remain with Jack, along with his family and friends, who have suffered a heart-wrenching loss.

“Despite warnings from the previous owner, and knowing its aggression, Hayden and Salter left the animal at the house without taking any proper measures to control it, their failure to do so had catastrophic consequences.”

 

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