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Coroner suggests return to dog licences after fatal attack

A coroner has called for the law surrounding dangerous dogs to be changed, after a Manchester teenager was fatally attacked by four animals at a friend’s house.

Alan Walsh said the case of Jade Anderson should prompt ministers to bring back dog licences in an attempt to deal with irresponsible owners. Dog licences have not been a legal requirement in the UK since 1987.

Speaking at an inquest into Jade’s death, Mr Walsh commented that the negligence of owners was a greater cause for concern than any perceived ‘dangerous’ dog breed, and described the event as a “catastrophic tragedy”.

The 14-year-old was attacked by two mastiffs and two Staffordshire bull terriers in the kitchen, after the animals broke free from their cages. She was found dead at the scene by her friend, who had briefly left the house to use a neighbour’s microwave. The dogs were shot dead by police officers.

Their owner, Beverley Concannon, was given a 16-week suspended jail sentence, after neighbours testified that she kept the animals caged and never walked them.

At the time, she could not be prosecuted under dangerous dog laws as the breeds were not banned and the animals were not out of control in a public place, while the Court found “insufficient evidence” to bring a manslaughter charge.

Two months after this incident, the law was changed to ensure owners must now take responsibility for their dogs on their own private property as well as in public.

Support for dog attack victims

The fatal outcome of the above case is particularly distressing, and being attacked by an out-of-control dog is a terrifying experience for anyone. Victims are often left with lasting physical and psychological damage.

If you have suffered injuries because of a dangerous dog, the personal injury solicitors at Croftons may be able to help you. We will treat your case professionally and sensitively, ensuring you receive all the practical support you need to recover, and mounting a strong legal case against the irresponsible owner concerned.

Call us on 0800 2800 094 to tell us about your case and find out more about how we could help you.

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