Latest News

Grandmother jailed after grandson’s dog mauled 5-year-old granddaughter while babysitting

By Mason White 4:01 PM April 5, 2017
Young girl hugs her dog (illustration)
Young girl hugs her dog (illustration)
By: Alexis Bell

A grandmother found herself behind bars after allowing a dangerous dog to be around her young granddaughter, according to police in the United Kingdom.

Now, the Liverpool Crown Court has sentenced the grandmother to serve four months in prison after her grandson’s dog mauled her 5-year-old granddaughter, leaving her with horrific injuries.

Joan Purcell, 69, watched the large American Bull Dog called Cheech at her home for her grandson, Connor Southerland, 25.

Southerland had moved out of the home, but Cheech continued to live with Purcell. Southerland came over each day to walk the dog.

One day, Purcell was in the front room of her home with two of her granddaughters, including the victim, five-year-old Millie Purcell and two dogs.

The children were playing on the sofa. Millie fell off the couch, and Cheech attacked her, causing serious injuries to her head, neck and hands.

Joan tried to get the dog off her granddaughter, but couldn’t, despite suffering cuts to her hands in the attempt. She shouted to her son, Terrence, who lived nearby, but he couldn’t release the dog’s grip either.

Eventually, Terrence freed Millie, after stabbing the dog several times with a kitchen knife. Millie was rushed to a hospital in a neighbor’s car.

Joan was later charged with being in charge of a dog, dangerously out of control, causing injury. Southerland later gave his permission for the dog to be executed.

“Cheech was an extremely powerful dog yet it was in the same room as two very young children when the incident happened.

“The Crown Prosecution Service takes cases like this very seriously and will strongly pursue a prosecution where necessary. Dogs may be loved family pets, but they can also cause serious injury, as we have seen all too clearly here,” prosecutors said in a statement.

Joan cannot own a dog for the next five years. She was also ordered to pay 85 pounds ($106) towards the costs of the case and a victim surcharge of 115 pounds ($143).