Women jailed after neighbour was "literally eaten alive" by their dog

The women left the dog without shade, food or water on the hot day last year

Two women were sentenced to 12 months in prison on Tuesday, after a pensioner was “literally eaten alive” by their dog.

Retired hospital porter Clifford Clarke, 79, was attacked by the Presa Canario dog in his Liverpool garden, after he opened his back door as he cooked a meal on a hot day in May last year.

Hayley Sulley, 30, and Della Woods, 29, left the dog unattended while they went to a barbecue. The dog then escaped and made its way into the neighbouring garden belonging to Mr Clarke.

The dog named Charlie was left without shade on the day of the attack, with test showing he had not been given enough food or water for several hours.


Prior to the incident, neighbours had reported seeing the dog behaving in a dangerous manner.

One neighbour called the police when he heard screaming coming from Mr Clarke's house in Richard Kelly Close, Norris Green, and was reportedly horrified when he saw the pensioner on the floor being dragged and mauled by the dog.

A Presa Canario, unrelated to the incident A Presa Canario, unrelated to the incident
Armed police later arrived at the scene, at shot the dog dead.

Mr Clarke was pronounced dead shortly afterwards in hospital.

Both women wept in the dock at Liverpool Crown Court as Judge Mark Brown told them Mr Clarke's death was “entirely avoidable”.

Last month, Sulley, of Richard Kelly Close, and Woods, of Swallowhurst Crescent, Norris Green, pleaded guilty to three offences of causing unnecessary suffering to a dog.

They also admitted to an offence breaching the Dangerous Dogs Act.

The Presa Canario, which originated in Spain's Canary Islands, is renowned as a large powerful breed but is not banned in the UK.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media