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Killer dog's owner helps carry coffin.

A man whose pit bull terrier killed his young niece was a pallbearer at her funeral yesterday.

Ellie Lawrenson, five, was fatally mauled while staying at her grandmother's house in St Helens, Merseyside, on New Year's Day.

The dog belonged to her uncle, 23-year-old Kiel Simpson, who also lives at the house.

Mr Simpson was one of four pallbearers to carry Ellie's pink coffin into Eccleston Christ Church, St Helens.

He rode in the same funeral limousine as Ellie's mother, 24-year-old Lyndsey Simpson, and her father, 30-year-old Darren Lawrenson, who was also a pallbearer.

The coffin arrived at the sandstone church on a white carriage, pulled by two white horses.

A card with the flowers read: "Our beautiful Ellie. We love and miss you so much, baby. We go to sleep each night just wishing for you to wake us up, singing with the birds.

"God has chosen you to be an angel. If there ever was an angel, it had to be you. Good night sweetie. Mum and Dad x."

Ellie's mother wept as she entered the church with her younger sister, Kelsey.

Their mother and Ellie's grandmother, 46-year-old Jackie Simpson, who suffered severe arm injuries as she fought to stop the dog attack, had to be supported by relatives.

The funeral was followed by a private service at a nearby crematorium and cemetery.

Ellie's uncle, Kiel Simpson, has been questioned by police but not arrested in connection with the tragedy.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 12, 2007
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