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Fatal dog attack owner sentenced
A woman whose dogs savaged a 14-year-old girl to death will be sentenced later today for animal cruelty.
Beverley Concannon, 45, will appear before magistrates after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to four dogs - two bull mastiffs and two Staffordshire bull terriers - which attacked and killed Jade Lomas-Anderson.
The powerful dogs turned on the youngster, who was on half-term school holidays, while she was visiting a friend at Concannon's home in Chaucer Grove, Atherton near Wigan.
Armed police shot dead the dogs after the incident on March 26.
The Crown Prosecution Service said there was insufficient evidence to bring a charge of manslaughter by gross negligence against Concannon.
It also said it could not bring any charges under the Dangerous Dogs Act because the four dogs were not banned breeds and were not out of control in a public place - the attack took place in her home.
Concannon has admitted causing unnecessary suffering to bull mastiffs Buddy and Neo and Staffordshire bull terriers Ty and Sky between July 19 last year and March 25 this year, in that she subjected the animals to "an environment that was detrimental to their well-being" and she knew or ought to have reasonably known what she had done.
Jade's mother Shirley and stepfather Michael visited Westminster in June to urge the Government to tighten the laws around dangerous dogs.
They said the Government's Dangerous Dogs (Amendment) Bill should be toughened "to prevent what we are going through from happening to other people".
The Bill aims to remove the immunity from prosecution of dog owners whose animal attacks someone on private property - as in their daughter's case.
Under the plans for England and Wales, announced in February, a dog owner could be prosecuted if they fail to stop their pet attacking someone on their own, or someone else's property.
The Bill was designed to protect people who visit houses as part of their job, such as postmen, utility workers and healthcare employees.
Concannon, who is on bail, will appear at Wigan Magistrates' Court later today.