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Jade Lomas-Anderson was a bit ‘from head to toe by two bull mastiffs and two Staffordshire bull terriers at a friend’s home

Jade Lomas-Anderson bitten 'from head to toe' by two bull mastiffs and two Staffordshire bull terriers at friend’s home
Credit: Rex

The family of a teenage girl murdered by four dangerous dogs ten years ago has said they will “never stop fighting for her,” as they call for new legislation to combat the rising number of fatal attacks. On March 26, 2013, Jade Lomas-Anderson, 14, was attacked ‘from head to toe’ by two bull mastiffs and two Staffordshire bull terriers at a friend’s house in Atherton, Wigan.

Following the assault, her parents fought to alter the law to make it unlawful to have an out-of-control canine in a private home, according to The Mirror. However, after ten years, they claim that this is still insufficient and that the law should be “ripped up and started again” in their daughter’s honor.

Mum Shirley, 46, said: “The law we have now is a massive insult to Jade’s legacy. Every time there is a dog attack, it’s a kick in the face to us and we feel angry and upset. “Today, we are calling for a new standalone Jade’s Law, which we know will stop other families from going through what we have.”

Shirley and her husband Mike believe that owners of vicious dogs should face tougher prison terms and restrictions and that all dog owners should complete an online tutorial and be listed on a police database. The pair plan to meet with Environment Secretary Therese Coffey to talk reform, and Mike, 43, stated, “It’s time to accept things are at breaking point.”

“We are calling for the dog legislation to sit on its own, not be buried in the antisocial behavior bill.” They spoke as new data show that dog-related accidents have increased by more than a third in five years, from 16,000 in 2018 to 22,000 last year. Since the beginning of 2022, twelve people from the United Kingdom have been murdered by hazardous breeds.

A pack of dogs mauled a six-year-old girl in a neighborhood less than five miles from where Jade was murdered last Sunday. A 35-year-old man has appeared in court while 17 dogs were taken away. Mike – Jade’s stepfather – said: “Dangerous dog attacks have become a spiraling epidemic. We want justice for families. We don’t want to ban dogs. We love dogs and have two. It pains us when we see dogs being destroyed.

“It’s almost always the owners who are dangerous. It’s 90% owner, it’s 10% the dog. We want the onus to be placed more on the owners.” Shirley added: “Jade would help anyone. She would shop for the elderly, and help them across the road. This is what Jade would have done if she was here. She’d be pushing for change and that is why we will never give up.”

Jade was attacked five minutes from her residence in Atherton at a friend’s place. Beverley Concannon, her friend’s mother, had five canines, according to an inquiry. Because she was caged or locked up in her home, some people described her as “stir-crazy” and “hyper-aggressive.” Neighbors stated they had never been exercised.

Prosecutors claimed there was insufficient proof to support a murder charge. Instead, judges handed down a 16-week suspended term for animal cruelty and a prohibition on having dogs to the unemployed mother of five. Jade perished as a result of “horrific injuries” from “head to toe,” according to the judge.

Mike said: “I was hoping she’d get some prison sentence. I broke down the outside court. When I got home, I remember saying, ‘The law has to change. We have to do something.”

After meeting with lawmakers, including then-Prime Minister David Cameron, the law was tightened, expanding an owner’s responsibility to control their dogs on private property. But Mike said: “As soon as I heard the law would fall under the anti-social behavior bill, I had this niggly feeling this will not be enough.

“I hate to say it but that gut feeling was right.” Even the coroner at the 2014 inquest into Jade’s death suspected the law had not gone far enough.

Shirley said: “We sat back and watched to see if it would have an effect. Ten years on, we can confidently say it hasn’t. It’s upsetting. But this is why the time is now for change. It still feels like yesterday when everything happened. We’ve had therapy. It feels so hard when we hear someone else has gone through what we have.

“We mark her birthday and do things she would want us to. We have two other children. We try and live every day like she’d like us to. I still sleep with her One Direction pillow because she loved Harry Styles. She was a proper tomboy. She loved climbing, being cheeky, the joker. We will never stop fighting for her.”

The Government said: “We recently published research examining measures to reduce dog attacks and promote responsible dog ownership. We have set up a group with police, local authorities, and animal welfare to advise on how the proposals could work.”

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