Couple Jailed After 10-Year-Old Was Boy Mauled To Death By American Bully Dog Named "Beast"
A man and woman have both been jailed after admitting to being in control of a dog that killed a 10-year-old boy in Wales. The dog named "Beast" had a track record for aggression and had attempted to bite several people in the days prior to the fatal attack.
Young Jack Lis was mauled by the American Bully dog on November 8 last year while playing with a friend at a house after school.
Police were called to the property in Pentwyn, Penyrhoel, near Caerphilly, and the dog named Beast was killed by firearms officers.
19-year-old Brandon Hayden was jailed for four years and six months at Cardiff Crown Court after admitting to being in control of the dog at the time. 29-year-old Amy Salter was sentenced to three years in prison - both of them were banned from owning a dog indefinitely.
The court heard how Brandon Hayden, of Penyrheol, Caerphilly, became the owner of the 100lb dog on November 3, 2021, he found the animal on a Facebook advert, saying Beast was free to a good home, stating that it had issues with other dogs.
Salter had looked after the dog following Hayden's request for a short period of time and, in the days that followed, Beast had bitten at least two people.
The court was shown CCTV footage that showed Hayden with the dog outside a village shop just four days before the fatal attack. The video showed him struggling to keep control over the dog as it lunged at people walking in and out of the shop, including a young girl who was forced to hide behind a car.
Hayden was seen hitting the dog several times in the head as he attempted to pull him back. In a separate clip, Beast was seen running at a young boy, forcing him to drop his scooter and run away, hiding behind a wall.
The following day, three days before the death of Jack, Hayden was seen on CCTV picking up Beast from his father's house, where it had attacked a neighbour's dog.
The Fatal Day Of The Attack
On the day that the fatal attack occurred, Beast was unrestrained when 10-year-old Jack walked in to play with his friend. Prosecutor Gareth James QC said it was not necessary to disclose the full nature of Jack's horrific injuries to the public in court to avoid "unnecessary distress to those already suffering".
Mr James explained that Jack was standing by the door when the dog jumped on him, placing two of his paws on his shoulders and knocking him to the floor.
"This is when Beast was seen beginning to attack Jack," he added.
Jack's friend ran to a neighbour to get help but when they returned they could not open the door and could see the dog continuing its relentless attack on the 10-year-old.
When police arrived, the officers attempted to distract the dog by banging on the windows, this gave Sergeant Ross Phillips the chance to reach inside and pull Jack out, tragically the young boy had already died.
Armed police then arrived at the property and shot the dog dead in an upstairs bedroom.
A statement from Emma Whitfield, Jack's mother, was read out in court saying that his death had left a "huge rift" in their family's lives, the lives of Jack's friends, and the local community.
Ms Whitfield said: "The last images a mother sees of her son should never be of him being dragged from a house knowing deep down he is gone but praying it isn't so.
"When I close my eyes I see the animal and its teeth, I hear the barking. I now suffer with panic attacks and severe flashbacks."
Jack's best friend said in a tribute at his funeral, "Jack you went away too soon. I never got to say goodbye but I look forward to the day we meet again."