Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

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

Zachary Davies Boren
Wednesday 04 June 2014 18:37 BST
Ms Sulley and Ms Woods sentenced for dog eating neighbour alive
Ms Sulley and Ms Woods sentenced for dog eating neighbour alive

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.

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 (Wikipedia/Creative Commons/ GNU FDL)

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.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in