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
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine