THE stepfather of a teenager mauled to death by a pack of dogs has praised the introduction of tougher sentences for irresponsible owners.
But Michael Lomas, the stepfather of Jade Lomas-Anderson, aged 14, said work still needs to be done to protect people from dangerous dogs.
New powers have been introduced this week meaning that dog owners will no longer be immune from prosecution if their dog attacks someone in the home.
The maximum sentence for the owner of a dog that kills someone has been raised from two years to 14 years.
Jade, a Fred Longworth High School pupil, from Atherton, suffered fatal injuries after being set upon by four dogs at her friend’s home in Chaucer Grove, Atherton, on March 26 last year.
Mr Lomas said: “It is fantastic that sentencing lengths have been improved. That is what we have been campaigning for.
“It is great news but we still think more needs to be done. We think more needs to be done with prevention to stop it from happening in the first place.
“We have always said we have wanted something positive to come from Jade’s death.
“We have lost a daughter and it is heartbreaking every day. We can’t get any justice. The dog owners’ animals mauled our daughter to death. We have to live with it every single day.”
Owner of the killer dogs Beverley Concannon, aged 45, of Almond Grove, Worsley Hall, Wigan, was sentenced to a 16 week jail term suspended, last year after admitting three offences including causing unnecessary suffering to her pets.
She was sentenced when people were immune from prosecution if their dog attacked someone in the home.
Supt Mark Kenny, from GMP, who was involved in the investigation into Jade’s death, said the change means dog owners can be prosecuted regardless of where the crime took place.
Supt Kenny said: “People have probably been more relaxed in the past about it — 99 per cent of dog owners are responsible. It’s the tiny amount who don’t look after pets while they are in a public place or in their own home.”
He said there is now legislation for dangerous dogs who attack assistance dogs, such as guide dogs. However, some dog owners will have a defence if their pet attacks intruders.