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Unlawful death verdict for Ellie; Little girl mauled to death by dog.

Byline: BY VICKY ANDERSON Daily Post Staff

AN INQUEST into the death of Ellie Lawrenson, who was mauled to death by her uncle's dog on New Year's Eve, has recorded a verdict of unlawful death.

The five-year-old was killed in the early hours of 2007 after being savaged by the illegally-owned pit bull type dog at her grandmother's home in St Helens.

The inquest was opened and closed by Coroner Christopher Sumner at the coroner's court in Whiston Hospital.

Sworn evidence was heard from coroners officer George McMillan who said in a statement that, following an autopsy, the cause of Ellie's death was determined as head and neck injuries.

He said: "Following the completion of the police enquiry Ellie's uncle was charged with an offence under the Dangerous Dogs Act and was dealt with at court.

"Ellie's grandmother was later charged with manslaughter and referred to Crown Court to answer that charge. The Crown Prosecution Service was satisfied all the elements of the offence of gross negligence manslaughter were present, however, she was acquitted of the offence."

Ellie's family did not want to comment following the coroner's verdict.

Her grandmother, .Jacqueline Simpson, 45, was cleared of unlawfully killing the five-year-old by gross negligence following a trial in September.

The girl's uncle Kiel Simpson, 24, was jailed in May for eight weeks after admitting owning a dangerous dog.

Ellie suffered 72 injuries in the attack by the banned dog, called Reuben, while she stayed with her grandmother.

Ms Simpson, who had drunk two bottles of wine and smoked two cannabis joints, was minding Ellie at her home in Knowles House Avenue, St Helens, while Ellie's parents Lindsey Simpson, 25, and Darren Lawrenson, 31, celebrated New Year.

During the early hours of January 1, Ms Simpson let Reuben into the house and the animal went for Ellie.

Ms Simpson tried to fight off the 741b dog during the attack.

She claimed she allowed the dog into the house because it looked scared after a firework went off.

Ellie was savaged by the illegally owned pit bull

vickyanderson@dailypost.co.uk

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Ellie Lawrenson - died of head and neck injuries
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 22, 2007
Words:358
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