Fury as dogs owner Beverley Concannon walks free over death of 14-year-old Jade Lomas-Anderson

Girl was savaged 'from head to toe' by four dogs after spending night at Ms Concannon's house with her daughter

The owner of the four “hyper aggressive” dogs who savaged to death 14-year-old Jade Lomas-Anderson has walked free from court, leaving the girl’s family “disgusted” at the suspended sentence.

Beverley Concannon kept two bull mastiffs and two pit bulls cooped up in her Greater Manchester council house almost all day, in conditions which led them to go “stir crazy” through physical and mental distress.

On 26 March this year, Ms Concannon left her daughter and Jade alone in the flat to go shopping, after the pair had had a half-term sleepover the night before.

Wigan Magistrates’ Court heard how the dogs then turned on Jade, inflicting “horrific” injuries “from head to toe” before running out into the small garden covered in blood.

Ms Concannon, 45, had previously been warned about the conditions in which she kept her dogs. She admitted causing unnecessary suffering to bull mastiffs Buddy and Neo and Staffordshire bull terriers Ty and Sky between 19 July 2012 and 25 March this year.

She sat head down in the dock throughout the hearing just yards from Jade's family, who broke into tears as the court heard distressing details of the incident.

But they marched out of court in unison as Ms Concannon was told she would not be going to jail immediately.

The defendant was given a 16 week jail sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay costs and a victim surcharge amounting to £165. She was also banned from keeping dogs indefinitely.

The Crown Prosecution Service said there was insufficient evidence to bring a charge of manslaughter by gross negligence against Ms Concannon.

It also said it could not bring any charges under the Dangerous Dogs Act because the four dogs were not banned breeds and were not out of control in a public place; the attack took place in her home.

Jade's mother Shirley was not in court but other family members were, including her stepfather Michael, who said he was disgusted with the sentence.

“I'm devastated and disgusted in the justice system. Today was just about dangerous dogs. I think she should be held responsible for Jade.

“We have got a life sentence. It has absolutely ripped us apart.”

Paul Taylor, prosecuting, read a statement from Pc Burkinshaw, who was first on the scene after a 999 call and found Jade dead in the kitchen of the house with the dogs in the garden and the kitchen door open.

“I will never forget what I saw,” it read. “There was a large white bull mastiff type dog in the yard.”

“Its head and mouth were covered in blood and it was bounding around the yard. There was also another very large brown coloured bull mastiff type dog. It was also covered in blood, and two smaller pit bulls. They too had blood all over them.

“I felt disbelief and shocked by what had happened. I have not dealt with anything as distressing as this incident in my career and my heart goes out to this girl and her family.”

Mr Taylor said the way the dogs had been kept led to the tragedy.

Ms Concannon called the most aggressive dog Buddy her “baby” - though it was kept “crated” nearly all the time in a cage not big enough for it to raise its head or turn around properly.

The other mastiff lived in the yard while the pit bulls were confined to the kitchen, and none of them were walked despite there being a park two minutes from the house, the court heard.

A report by canine behaviour expert Annette Conn concluded all four dogs suffered chronic frustration, and physical and mental distress. It described Buddy as “stir crazy”.

Mr Taylor said: “Without exercise and stimulation dogs are likely to become hyper-aggressive. The defendant knows this and this is what happened with fatal consequences for Jade.”

On the day of the incident Ms Concannon had gone shopping, leaving her daughter and Jade alone with the dogs, a “dangerous situation” she should never have allowed to happen, Mr Taylor said.

Ms Concannon said she did not want her dogs mixing with people because she wanted them as guard dogs.

“No doubt she prized them for their aggressive traits,” Mr Taylor added.

Locals had complained before to housing and council officials about how the animals were kept and about their barking, but Ms Concannon was allowed to keep them.

Bill Pearson, defending Ms Concannon, said: “She tells me she would give anything to turn the clock back.

“She has a daughter, that young daughter found Jade Anderson, her daughter will never be the same again and neither will Beverley Concannon.

“I ask you not to take a mother away.”

Additional reporting by PA

News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

Time to stop running

At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?