Liverpool Women Jailed For Dog Mauling

Two Merseyside women have been jailed for 12 months each after a pensioner was mauled to death by their dog.

The cross-breed animal had earlier escaped from the garden of his next-door neighbour in the Norris Green area of the city.

Last month, Hayley Sulley who's 30 and 29 year old Della Woods pleaded guilty to an offence under the Dangerous Dogs Act of allowing a dog to enter a place where it was not allowed and where it injured a person.

Both women cried in the dock at Liverpool Crown Court as Judge Mark Brown told them Mr Clarke's death was ``entirely avoidable''.

They had left the dog it unattended in the garden on a hot day last May without water and shade while they went to a barbecue.

They were told by the judge that they were fortunate not to have been charged with manslaughter.

He said the maximum sentence he could pass was two years.

New laws have been brought in since the fatal attack which has increased the maximum term to 14 years but the judge said that could not be applied retrospectively.

Judge Brown said: ``I hope that the recent changes to the law will be of some small comfort to Mr Clarke's family.

``Figures released recently show that the number of dangerous dogs seized by the police have risen 50% in just two years in some police forces around the country.''

Neighbours were unable to get into the garden to help the pensioner, while one neighbour rang for a dog warden but was told there was a four-hour wait.

The dog attacked police officers when they arrived on the scene and they were forced to attempt to distract it before an armed unit arrived.

A marksman had to shoot the dog twice after it continued to approach following the first strike, the court was told.