Man jailed after after his dogs mauled a two year old girl

07/06/2017

The owner of four 12-stone "American Bully" breed dogs that escaped into a neighbour's garden and mauled a two-year-old girl, leaving her with serious injuries, has been jailed for 18 months.

Andrew McGowan, 35, appeared before the Recorder of Liverpool today (6/6/2017).

In interview he had described himself as a "puppy farmer", raising litters of large dogs in a shed at the bottom of the garden of his terrace home at Cockburn Street, Toxteth, in Liverpool.

On 7 May 2017 he left several of these dogs loose in his garden whilst he went to the shops and to collect his children from school.

The dogs forced their way through a gap covered with a piece of chicken wire and into the garden of Sandra Mckevitt, who had been enjoying an afternoon picnic with three young relatives.

The gap had been made three years earlier by another dog breaking through a fence panel to pursue Miss McKevitt's cat.

Mike Stephenson, Crown Advocate with Mersey-Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service, said: "The dogs were racing around. Miss McKevitt got the older children to go into the house and was walking slowly back with the two-year-old when one of the dogs bit the youngster to the left shoulder.

"Miss McKevitt screamed at the dogs, punched out at them and picked up a rake, but they closed on the child and both Miss McKevitt and the child were bitten.

"A neighbour heard Miss McKevitt’s screams and saw over the fence that she was standing against the back of the house, holding the child, covered in blood, as the four dogs continued their attack.

"Another neighbour managed to distract the dogs and get them to the bottom of the garden, letting Miss McKevitt escape with the child.

"The child was taken to Alder Hey Children's hospital by air ambulance and underwent seven hours of surgery.

"She has been left with life-changing injuries to her face and head, as well as needing trauma counselling.

"All four dogs have been destroyed. Andrew McGowan has been disqualified from keeping dogs for 12 years and has surrendered the rest of his dogs, including two litters of puppies, to the police for rehoming.

"A victim personal statement from the child's mother was read to the court which outlined the impact on a happy family caused by the defendant's failure to properly secure his garden."