Jack Lis: Pair in charge of dog which mauled boy, 10, to death jailed

·3-min read
Jack Lis  (PA)
Jack Lis (PA)

A man and woman have been jailed after admitting being in charge of a dog that mauled a ten-year-old boy to death.

Jack Lis was attacked by the American bully or XL bully dog called Beast at a house after school in Pentwyn, Penyrheol, near Caerphilly, on November 8 2021.

Brandon Hayden, 19, was jailed for four years and six months at Cardiff Crown Court on Friday.

Amy Salter, 29, was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.

Both were banned from owning a dog indefinitely.

Hayden and Salter had both pleaded guilty to being in charge of a dangerously out of control dog at an earlier hearing.

The boy’s parents Emma Whitfield and John Lis have laid bare the heartache of losing their son.

In a statement read to Cardiff Crown Court on her behalf, the boy’s mother Emma Whitfield said: “No mum should ever have the last images of their child as being dragged from a house, knowing deep down they’re gone but praying that it isn’t so.

“I close my eyes and I see the animal and its teeth. I hear the barking. I have severe panic attacks and I have horrifying flashbacks. I constantly ask ‘Why my boy? Why Jack?’ I would have given my life trying to protect him, but I couldn’t do this because he wasn’t somewhere familiar.

“He should have been safe... Some of the last conversations we had as a family were about Christmas presents and Jack told us what he wanted.

“Being able to buy his Christmas presents was even taken from us because all he asked for was clothes. We were no longer shopping for Christmas presents, we were shopping for clothes for Jack to be buried in.

“We should still have our Jack here in person to talk to, but instead we say good morning and good night to his pictures without a response.

“I’m trapped in what used to be our family home. Now it’s broken and it will never be the same again.”

His father John Lis said in a statement read to the court on his behalf: “How can I find the words to describe the impact that my son Jack’s tragic unnecessary death have had on mine and my family’s life? There isn’t any.

“Losing a child is heart-breaking to say the least, but to lose a child in such an horrific, unimaginable way is not something that anyone would ever be able to come to terms with or accept.

“The circumstances and the thought of how my son Jack must have been feeling at that time, all alone, in pain and frightened to death haunts me every day and night. I cannot close my eyes at night and think of anything else.

“Jack was 10 years old and had his whole life ahead of him, but this was taken from him so unnecessary, and so tragically. I’ll never get to see him turn into a young man, learn to drive, get married or have children of his own – his brothers and sisters are so young they won’t remember him.

“All I can pray for is that we get some justice for Jack’s needless death and that lessons will be learnt preventing any other child and family suffering as we are.”

Jack suffered severe injuries to the head and neck described as “unsurvivable”, an inquest opening into the boy’s death heard.

Emergency services including paramedics had rushed to the house at around 3.55pm but they were unable to save him.

Armed police were forced to attend the scene and destroy the dog.

The 115lb dog was not a breed which is on the banned breed list.

A funeral for Jack in the wake of his death held at St Martin’s Church in Caerphilly was attended by hundreds of people wearing red and carrying red balloons in his memory.

A procession of high-end cars, including a silver DeLorean DMC-12 and red Mustang, took place prior to the service around the town and castle.

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