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
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
Life and Style
health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own