14-year-old girl Jade Anderson savaged to death by four 'out of control' dogs

Police shoot animals that attacked teenager who was holding meat pie

A 14-year-old girl died today after what was believed to be an attack by four dangerous and “out of control” dogs.

Police said officers were confronted by the aggressive dogs – two bull mastiffs and two Staffordshire bull terriers – when they responded to reports of an unconscious girl at a property on the Hagford Estate in Atherton, near Wigan, yesterday afternoon.

Jade Anderson, a student at Fred Longworth High School in Tyldesley, was visiting the house and no one  else was present during the attack. She is thought to have lived nearby. Last night it was claimed the girl had been holding a meat pie in her hand and one of the dogs had attempted to bite it. The daughter of the dog owners was said to have told friends: “She moved the pie and the dog’s gone for her throat and then they have all gone for her.”

Detectives said the dogs, which were destroyed by armed officers shortly after 2pm, would be examined as part of the investigation. A fifth dog was inside the house. “Our thoughts are with the family of the girl who has tragically lost her life. Specialist officers are offering them every support,” said Superintendent Mark Kenny, of Greater Manchester Police.

“While our enquiries to find out what happened are ongoing, this girl’s injuries are consistent with her having been attacked by dogs.” The attack is likely to fuel the debate about control of potentially dangerous pets in the same way as when four-year-old John Paul Massey was killed by a violent dog in Liverpool in 2009. 

Only two months ago, the Government was criticised for its inaction on dog attacks and animal welfare when a cross-party committee of MPs said current laws “comprehensively failed” to deal with the issue of irresponsible dog ownership.

The Coalition’s proposals to introduce mandatory microchipping in England were described as “woefully inadequate” by the Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in February.

Speaking to The Independent last night, the Labour MP for Bolton West, Julie Hilling, said the attack should prompt moves to “strengthen the law” around dangerous dogs on social housing estates. “There are real problems with dangerous dogs and we need to have stronger legislation to control these animals when they are in private property. This is a terrible tragedy and my thoughts are with the family.”

The estate is run by Wigan and Lee Housing, a private firm that manages Wigan Council’s 22,600-strong social housing stock. The local authority was unavailable for comment last night.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
news
New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Sport
sport
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all