Two friends responsible for an aggressive dog that beat a boy to death have been jailed for failing to prevent the tragedy.
Ten-year-old Jack Lis was attacked by the XL bully dog named Beast while playing with a friend after school.
Now his owners Amy Salter, 29, and Brandon Hayden, 19, have been convicted of being responsible for a dangerously runaway dog.
A court heard Hayden see an ad for the dog on Facebook, saying it was “free” but “not good with other dogs.”
He adopted the dog but asked his girlfriend Salter if she could keep the dog at her home for a while due to lack of space.
Prosecutor Gareth James said: “Ms Salter helped feed and water Beast but Mr Hayden provided food and was the only person to walk it.”
In the four days they owned the dog before Jack Lis was attacked, there were a number of incidents where the dog attempted to attack people and other dogs.
Beast, who weighed a “muscled” 44 kg (6.9 stone), was seen on video lunging at shoppers and children in the days before the deadly attack.
CCTV footage shown in court showed the animal leaping up and biting a passerby and pouncing on terrified children while Hayden failed to pull it back.
Beast also attacked shopper Sian Sullivan as he ripped her hoodie, leaving her with injuries to her chest.
Hayden was also seen in the footage “kicking and punching” the beast after it jumped over a fence to mangle a Jack Russell.
Mr James said: “Within 24 hours of Hayden becoming Beasts owner he could see that such incidents were likely.
“Despite seeing the incidents, Ms. Salter has agreed to allow Beast to remain at the address and has provided Beast with shelter, food and water.”
He said there was nothing like a cage to restrain Beast in the house and he could roam around as he pleased.
As the attack took place, the court heard Beast pinning Jack to the ground with his “paws on his shoulders.”
Neighbor Kirk Wiegold became aware of the attack but was only able to open the door “a fraction” when trying to help.
Ambulance services rushed to the address in Caerphilly, South Wales, but Jack was pronounced dead.
Cardiff Crown Court heard Beast was shot at the scene by firearms officers as horrified neighbors gathered outside.
His mother Emma Whitfield, who had been clutching a teddy bear in court, also stood outside the house with them on November 8 last year.
The devastating news was then broken to her by police after she gave her a description of her son.
In a victim statement, she said: “I close my eyes and see the animal and its teeth. I hear the barking
“I used to be cheerful, lively and fun, but now I’m a nervous wreck. I’m angry because my kid went to play and didn’t come home.
“I am locked up in what was once our family home. It’s broken now and will never be the same again.’
She added: “I’m sad. I’m beyond sad, I’m desperate.”
His father, John Lis, added: “Jack was a ten-year-old boy with his whole life ahead of him, but that was taken from him so needlessly and so tragically.”
Hayden issued a prepared statement in an interview claiming that the dog, “as far as he’s concerned,” belonged to Salter.
The court heard he was at the scene after the attack and apparently “freaked out” before leaving when police arrived.
Mr James said: “He said he would never forget the images he saw and couldn’t get them out of his head.”
Salter and Hayden admitted to being responsible for a dog that got dangerously out of control and caused injuries resulting in death.
Hayden also admitted to being responsible for a dangerously out of control dog on an additional three counts and being the owner of a dog who caused injury while being dangerously out of control in a public place on two counts.
Judge Michael Fitton QC said: “Jack’s death was an extremely tragic, unnecessary event. It shouldn’t have happened. It didn’t have to happen.’
Hayden was sentenced to four years and six months. Salter was imprisoned for three years, making seven years between them.
The couple also received indefinite orders to keep dogs.
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more stories like this, Visit our news page.
Get the top news, feel-good stories, analysis and more
https://metro.co.uk/2022/06/10/caerphilly-owners-of-killer-dog-jailed-for-seven-years-after-beast-mauled-boy-to-death-16806156/ Caerphilly: Killer dog owner sentenced to seven years in prison after 'Beast' beat boy to death