8-year-old girl killed by dogs while alone at home: one year suspended sentence against her mother

The public prosecutor on Monday requested a one-year prison sentence, accompanied by a suspended probation, against a Louviéroise woman prosecuted before the criminal court of Mons for an involuntary homicide by lack of foresight or precaution.

On the night of July 11 to 12, 2021, the defendant had left her eight-year-old daughter alone, with her four dogs, two of which were American Staff. The little girl was attacked by the dogs and died shortly after being admitted to hospital. The facts took place in Strépy-Bracquegnies. The mother knew her dogs were aggressive, but not towards her or her daughter, she told the trial.

According to Me Bruno, who represents the father of the little girl, warning signs should have encouraged the mother to separate from her dogs. One of the canines had already injured a student while running into a group, because he had seen another dog. The animals had also caused damage to the house.

The defendant’s mother said that she asked her daughter to tie up this dog so that it did not attack hers when she visited him. The police had also been forced to shoot one of the two American Staff on their arrival as he was so aggressive.

She could no longer take care of her daughter, her home and her dogs

The deputy prosecutor considers that the defendant did not behave responsibly and highlighted the precarious environment in which this family lived. The floor was littered with dog feces and trash. The upstairs was not in a better condition. The representative of the public prosecutor believes, like the lawyer for the civil party, that there were warning signs.

Many witnesses spoke of the aggressiveness of the dogs and many incidents, minimized by the defendant, took place. “During her interview with the police, she declared that she could no longer take care of her daughter, her accommodation and her dogs, whom she said were protective.”

For the magistrate, it is clear that the defendant committed a fault by leaving her daughter alone, for fifteen to twenty minutes, with her dogs. A ban on keeping animals was also requested as well as the confiscation of the dog which was not killed by the police.

Me David Gelay, lawyer for the defendant, believes that his client, who was raising her daughter alone, does not have the psychological tools necessary to understand this tragedy. The lawyer pleaded a probationary suspension of the pronouncement of the condemnation for the thirty-something who is already the subject, he says, of a social condemnation.

He did not oppose the confiscation of the dangerous dog, but he did challenge the ban on keeping animals other than dogs. He also says that he made this proposal to prohibit his client from keeping dogs, at the prosecutor’s office. Judgment will be delivered on September 12.

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