Warm This Winter Gabriella Cilmi
The uncle of an 18-month-old girl mauled to death by his dog has been fined for breaching a court order banning him from keeping dogs, police said.
Urfan Ahmed, 33, pleaded guilty and was fined £765 on Friday after police found five dogs at a property in Crawley, West Sussex, where he was thought to be living.
He had been prevented from keeping dogs in July last year after admitting possessing one designated as bred for fighting contrary to the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.
His conviction for that offence followed the death of his niece Zumer Ahmed who suffered multiple bites after being attacked by a different dog, an American bulldog, at the family home on April 17 last year.
She was in the kitchen when the pet - six times her weight and named Game - entered the house from the back garden and started attacking her.
Ahmed was arrested on suspicion of her manslaughter on the same day as the attack but Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) lawyers later decided there was insufficient evidence.
The dog which attacked Zumer was not a banned breed and was put down with the agreement of Ahmed, Sussex Police said at the time.
Today, Chief Inspector Steve Curry, the district commander for Crawley district, said: ``Sussex Police takes breaches of court orders very seriously.
``These orders are put in place for a good reason and people who breach them should expect to be brought to justice.''
At an inquest into Zumer's death at Horsham Magistrates' Court in November last year, West Sussex coroner Penelope Schofield questioned whether American bulldogs should be kept by families.
She said many dog lovers would criticise her for questioning whether it is safe for children to live with such dogs but that one of her functions was to prevent future deaths.
Mrs Schofield recorded a narrative verdict, stating that Zumer died at the property in Cotton Walk ``as a result of being savaged by an American bulldog in her own home''.