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Ellie Lawrenson - Pit Bull Terrier Owners On Trial


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Pit Bull Terrier Dog 5 year old Ellie Lawrenson was savaged to death by her uncle's Pit Bull terrier, a twelve month old dog called Reuben.

Her grandmother, Jackie Simpson was charged with the manslaughter on the grounds of gross negligence in April this year.

'Pit Bulls' are a breed that is banned in the United Kingdom but are still used in illegal dog fights by some members of the UK's criminal underworld.

The child's grandmother Jackie Simpson, 46, appeared in court today, Thursday 6th September charged with manslaughter to which she pleaded not guilty.

Upon her arrest, blood samples taken from Simpson who was taking anti-depressants, revealed her to have been drinking wine during the day, had taken anti-depressants and a sleeping tablet, and smoked cannabis. She denied taking the tablets but admitted to smoking ten 'spliffs' (cannabis rolled with tobacco).

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In her defence Simpson said that the dog, which belonging to her son Kiel Simpson, 24, had until that fateful attack enjoyed playing with her grandchild. Simpson said:


“If she had a ball, she'd kick it and he'd bring it back to her or if he took one of her little toys, she'd chase him and get it back.”


The day before Kiel Simpson had punched the dog on the head and kicked it in its leg before he went out because the dog was annoying the children. Jackie Simpson said:

“Kiel was in a mood and punched and kicked the dog. He then left the house. I had never seen him do that before. He punched him in the head and kicked him on his back leg, the dog yelped”


Reuben was put in the yard and stayed outside even as the clocks chimed midnight and fireworks were let off to celebrate the New Year. Around two o'clock Simpson let the dog into the house where at first it lay down. Simpson said:

“It just jumped up, it started barking and running around. Then it got Ellie there on the chair. Its body was on top of her and her little legs was moving and it was shaking her, it just kept shaking her around. It keeps dropping her and picking her up. I was fighting with it, I was trying to get it off her…..there was blood everywhere."

I just dragged it out of there. I was screaming at it. That is when I phoned the ambulance and I just knew because I could see our Ellie lay there. I knew she wasn't with us any more. She was covered in blood, all her hair everything.”


Little Ellie was just 3ft 6in tall and stood no chance against the 5st 4lb dog that was twice the little girls weight. Ellie was grabbed by the throat and had 37 wounds to her face and neck, receiving 72 bites in all. Ellie cried out once, “Nannie” before she died. Police Sergeant Paul Hudson said:

“The living room floor was laminated and awash with blood”


Afraid that the dog would attack again he called for a Police marksman who destroyed the dog with one shot. Police experts said that the Pit Bull was extremely well-muscled and powerful. This breed has immeasurable strength with which to bite, hold and shake.

Pit Bull Terrier
Paramedic Kai Farmer said:


"Jackie was lying down
in almost a foetal
position on the floor.
She was absolutely
covered in blood”


The grandmother was terrified of walking past her granddaughter's body. She told the police that the attack lasted around 25 minutes:

“The dog just wouldn't
let go. I was wrestling
with it all over the
room and the blood
was everywhere”.


Jackie Simpson was treated for severe bite wounds to her arms.

Ellie Lawrenson Trial continued ->

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