Family members whose dog killed their baby are sentenced

15/09/2016

A mother and grandmother from Daventry have been jailed for two years immediate custody for offences under the Dangerous Dogs Act following the death of a baby in 2014.

Six-month-old Molly Mae Wotherspoon died on 3 October 2014. She was killed by the family's dog, an American Pit bull type dog called "Bruiser", who had escaped from its cage and attacked her.

At the time this happened, Molly-Mae's grandmother, Susan Aucott, was babysitting and looking after Molly Mae and the dogs at the house.

Following the Police investigation into Molly Mae's death, Susan Aucott was charged with being the person in charge of a dog which caused injury resulting in death while dangerously out of control.

Claire Riley, Molly Mae's mother and Bruiser's owner, was charged with being the owner of a dog which caused injury resulting in death while dangerously out of control.

James Allen, Head of the Complex Casework Unit for the CPS East Midlands said: "Molly Mae's death was a tragedy for all concerned.

"Sadly, the simple truth is that her death in October 2014 was entirely avoidable.

"Molly Mae's death would not have happened if two of the people closest to her had acted, as any reasonable person would have done, and never allowed such an aggressive and dangerous dog to be in the same small house as a young and vulnerable child.

"Any type of dog that is dangerously out of control, whether a breed of dog banned under the Dangerous Dogs legislation or not, can cause injury. The larger and more powerful the breed of dog, the more serious those injuries can be. As this case tragically illustrates, young and vulnerable children can be killed by dogs regarded as family pets. The onus is on owners and people responsible for dogs to ensure that dogs are kept under control."

Additional information:
Susan Aucott pleaded guilty to the charge she faced at Northampton Crown Court on Wednesday 8th June 2016. Claire Riley initially pleaded not guilty, but then pleaded guilty at the start of her trial.

Both defendants were sentenced to two years immediate custody and disqualified from having custody of a dog for ten years.