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Mother charged following fatal dog attack

Posted in: Animal Attacks Wrongful & Accidental Death 

A mother and grandmother of a toddler that was killed following a dog attack have been charged in connection with her death. 6-year-old Molly-Mae Wotherspoon was attacked in her home by her mother’s dog, an American pit bull, on 3 October last year. 23-year-old Claire Riley, Molly-Mae’s mother, was accused of owning a dangerously out of control dog that caused fatal injury in court. Her mother, 54-year-old Susan Aucott, Molly-Mae’s grandmother, was charged with the same offence.

It was heard in court that the toddler died as a result of blood loss from head wounds. Ms Riley said that the dog had never shown signs of aggressive behaviour before the attack. She added that she was heartbroken over the loss of her daughter.

“paid the ultimate price”

The coroner ruled that, as horrendous as the incident was, Ms Riley “paid the ultimate price” for having an illegal breed of dog. The dog was destroyed under the 1991 Dangerous Dog Act shortly after the attack.

Both Ms Riley and Ms Aucott were charged with owning a dangerously out of control dog that caused injury to the point of death. They have been released on bail but are due to appear at Northampton Magistrates’ Court on 21 September.

Head of the county’s operational command unit, Supt Andy Cox, said: “These incidents are extremely rare and it is the first time in Northamptonshire that someone has been charged with this offence. It took some careful consideration from experts within CPS to come up with the final decision.

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