Boy, 10, vandalized by bulldog named ‘Beast’ who previously pounced on children – couple locked up

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A man and woman have been sentenced to a total of seven years in prison for the death of a 10-year-old schoolboy who was attacked by a dog named Beast.

Jack Lis was beaten to death by the bulldog on November 8 last year while playing at a friend’s house in Penyrheol, near Caerphilly, after school.

Brandon Hayden, 19, walked onto the dock this morning in a gray tracksuit alongside 28-year-old Amy Salter, who wore a black scarf and dress.

The couple had pleaded guilty to being responsible for a dog that got dangerously out of control and caused injuries that resulted in Jack’s death.

Around 30 members of Jack’s family were reportedly seated in the stands on Friday to hear the verdict Wales Online.

Hayden was sentenced to a total of four years and six months in a juvenile detention center and Salter to a total of three years.







Jack Lis, 10, was killed by the bulldog while playing at a friend’s house
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In summary, prosecutor Gareth James said: “This case concerns the death on November 8 of a 10-year-old boy named Jack Lis when he was attacked at a friend’s house by a dog named Beast, an XL Bully dog ​​owned by Brandon Hayden and was in the charge of the defendant Amy Salter.

“Beast inflicted catastrophic and non-survivable injuries on Jack, causing his death. Both have pleaded guilty to all of the offenses they face.”

He said Beast had previously attempted to attack a child on a scooter, forcing her to run away out of fear.

Mr James also referred to an incident where Beast jumped over the garden fence and mauled a Jack Russell next door while its owner was chatting with a neighbour.







Amy Salter, 28, arrives for an earlier hearing at Newport Magistrates’ Court
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Brandon Hayden, 19, also admitted five other offenses involving the bulldog
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He added: “Although Ms. Salter saw the incidents, she agreed to allow Beast to remain at the address and provided Beast with shelter, food and water.

“There was only one door preventing him from going upstairs. He was allowed to roam freely around Mrs. Salter’s house with no contraptions or cages to restrain him. Ms. Salter should have been aware of the risks posed by Beast.”

CCTV footage was then played to the court showing three incidents of Beast on a leash jumping and barking at people.

Sentencing, Judge Michael Fitton QC said: “I would like to offer my personal respect to the family, loved ones and everyone who knew him and offer the court’s condolences.







Sian Sullivan was injured by the dog (above) on November 7, the day before Jack was attacked
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Firearms police officers were at the scene and destroyed the dog
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“Each life that this court learns of is valuable in itself, and the value of each life is naturally greater to those who knew and lived the individual.”

He continued: “It is bad enough that a child loses his life at the age of 10, but the circumstances we have heard and read and the pain expressed in intense words in VPS are the unbearable effects and the harm it did to those who knew and loved Jack.

“His death was an extremely tragic and unnecessary event, it should never have happened and never should have happened.”

Both defendants were also banned from owning or indefinitely keeping a dog.







CCTV footage was played to the court showing three incidents of Beast on a leash jumping and barking at people
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The defendants submitted their pleadings at Cardiff Crown Court yesterday and Hayden, from Penyrheol, admitted to five offenses of bulldog possession between November 4 and 7.

Two of those incidents resulted in injuries to two members of the public, Michael Ball and Sian Sullivan, the court had previously heard.

Mr Ball hit the dog after walking past him and being bitten on the arm, the court heard.

Ms. Sullivan was injured by the dog on November 7, the day before Jack was attacked. She went to pet Beast, but he grabbed her hoodie while growling, the court was told.

She cried on the way home after sustaining a chest injury, Mr James said.







Jack’s family said: “Our boy has made us the proudest parents and the proudest family on the planet”
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Ambulance services, including paramedics from the Welsh Ambulance Service, were called to a property at around 3.55pm on 8 November.

Describing the attack, Mr. James said: “Jack got into the address and petted Beast, who jumped up, put two paws on his shoulder, causing him to fall to the ground and attack Beast Jack.”

Mum-of-two Salter had gone to work and there were no adults in the house at the time.

A neighbor, Kurt Wiegold, watched the attack through the glass pane of a door but was unable to get inside.

Mr Wiegold said Hayden, who got home and opened the door before quickly closing it, “freaked out” and then left when police arrived.







A funeral for Jack at St Martin’s Church in Caerphilly was attended by hundreds of people
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Jack sustained serious head and neck injuries that were described as “unsurvivable,” an investigation that led to his death.

Police officers were at the scene and shot the dog in an upstairs bedroom.

There was some confusion over the identity of the deceased child, the court heard, which later became apparent to police after descriptions of Jack were provided by his parents.

Mr James said: “Officers had to break the devastating news to Jack’s parents that their son had passed away.”

In a personal statement from the victim, Jack’s mother, Emma Whitfield, told the court that a “huge chasm” had been left in her life and that of her family.







Floral tributes were left near the house last November
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She said: “Jack was my firstborn son, he was a first grandchild, a first great-grandchild and after having my second son he was a big brother too.

“He was all of those things and a lot more. Losing him left a huge rift in my life and that of my family. Not just family, but friends too.

“Friends his age grieve in a way no child should ever have. Jack’s death didn’t just shock his friends and family. There is also an entire school staff that has followed him from kindergarten to the start of his final year of elementary school.

“It’s obvious to say that my life and the life of my family will never be the same since the day this happened.

“I am his mother, and no mother should ever have the last pictures of her child being dragged out of a house, knowing deep down they are gone, praying they are not.” No mother should ever have to see a paramedic walking away from her son because nothing can be done.”







Jack’s mother, Emma Whitfield, told the court that a “huge chasm” had been left in her life and that of her family
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Ten year old Jack Lis
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Ms Whitfield said she now suffers from severe panic attacks and is unable to cope with everyday noises when outside the home.

She continued: “I close my eyes, I see the animal and its teeth. I hear the barking I have severe panic attacks and horrible flashbacks. Several times a day I am brought back directly there. I live through the nightmare several times.

“Before that, I wasn’t a nervous person, I wasn’t someone who saw the bad in things and I wasn’t someone who suffered with their mental health. But I’m one of those people now. I used to be cheerful, bubbly, funny.

“Outside the home I’m unable to cope with everyday noises including sirens, dogs barking and loud bangs like the gunshot I had no choice but to listen to as the animal was destroyed. I have counseling, I have medical reviews for medications to treat PTSD caused by all of this.”







Police and coroner at home last November
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A post-mortem found the animal to be a 43.75 kg (96.5 lb) American Bully or XL Bully, which are not on the Prohibited Breed List.

Ed Mitchard mitigated that Hayden had learning disabilities, lacked emotional maturity and was a young man only 19 years old.

He added: “Nothing he can say or do can change what happened last year. He knows the death of a totally innocent little child is at his door.

“He accepts pain, sorrow and sorrow for those who loved Jack Lis and stands at his door. This is something he will have to deal with for the rest of his life… He offers his unreserved apologies to everyone involved.”







Police and coroners at the scene last November
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Mitigating Salter, Jeffrey Jones said she has expressed remorse for what happened and is well liked in the community.

He added that she suffered a “tragic and broken upbringing” and has now moved away from the area.

A funeral for Jack at St Martin’s Church in Caerphilly was attended by hundreds of people wearing red and carrying red balloons in his memory.

A procession of high-end cars including a silver DeLorean DMC-12 and a red Mustang took place before the service in the town and castle.

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