The dog which killed a six-month-old girl in Daventry was kept in a cage that was too small and lacked stimulation, a court has heard.
Bruiser the dog was at home on the evening of October 3 2014 in Morning Star Drive, Daventry, with tiny Molly-Mae Wotherspoon and her grandmother Susan Aucott, of Alfred Street in Northampton, while Molly’s mother Claire Riley went out with friends.
That evening Bruiser attacked Molly-Mae, who later died of her injuries.
Northampton Crown Court this afternoon was told by prosecution barrister James House that Bruiser – a pit bull cross - was usually kept in a cage while indoors and occasionally let out into the garden.
The views of an expert were read out to the court saying that the cage was inadequate, flimsy and not big enough for the dog.
The court also was told there was a lack of dog toys and walking exercise to provide stimulation for the animal.
While being kept in the cage indoors, Bruiser was effectively kept separate from Molly-Mae.
Mr House told the court that while the dog was a banned breed – being a cross with the banned American pit bull breed – and Riley and Aucott did not at the time know that as a cross it would still be a banned breed, the fact of its aggressive nature and their knowledge of its character was of far greater importance.
The court also heard that Bruiser was described as “the most aggressive dog in her experience” by a vet who saw him prior to the incident.
The court was told it “was not in question” that both Riley and Aucott had knowledge of Bruiser’s aggressive behaviour before the attack.
The court was told Aucott had a “propensity to drink”, and the court heard she had a few drinks that evening – but not to excess. Mr House said: “It is of little relevance as sober or drunk she would not have been able to do anything about that dog.”
Claire Riley, who now lives in Merrydale Square in Northampton, today (Monday June 13) pleaded guilty to owning a dog that was dangerously out of control and which injured someone.
Susan Aucott had previously admitted being in charge of a dog that was dangerously out of control.
Judge Sue Carr said the pair would be sentenced on July 13.