Thursday, September 21, 2023

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Three-month-old baby girl mauled to death by a husky dog

A mum and dad have avoided prison after their three-month-old baby girl was savaged to death in her pram by one of their Husky dogs at a beauty spot, while the animal has been ordered to be put down.

Little Kyra King was killed by the dog named Blizzard – who was one of 19 huskies taken to the Ostler’s Plantation close to Kirkby Moor Nature Reserve in Lincolnshire on Sunday. Her parents Karen Alcock, 41, and Vince King, 55, were today given suspended jail sentences.

Alcock was handed an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and was ordered to undertake 80 hours of unpaid work. King received 10 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and 100 hours of unpaid work respectively at Lincoln Crown Court. A destruction order was today granted at court for the dog.

King and his then partner Karen Alcock were at the woodland near Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire, on the evening of the horrific incident, the court heard. They had brought the dogs with them, transported in a van that had been modified to contain lockable cages. The dogs were used for racing instead of being domestic pets and had been split into two teams to pull homemade sleds around the wooded area.

After King and Alcock finished racing one group of dogs, they returned them to the van to change over to another team of dogs. But during the swap, Blizzard leaped over the partition separating the cages from the van’s front seats and escaped out the passenger door. He then attacked little Kyra in her pram. Despite the best efforts of emergency services, who scrambled to the area, Kyra died at the scene. An inquest later found she died from head and neck injuries.

Alcock pleaded guilty in December last year and admitted the charge of being the owner, or in charge of a dog that was out of control causing injury resulting in death. King originally wanted to go to trial, but later in June, he too admitted the charge.

Prosecutor Jeremy Janes at an earlier hearing said “It is not possible to separate” King and Alcock’s involvement, due to both being at the scene when the incident occurred. He said: “No one was in control of Blizzard because both were at the rear of the van getting the second sled team ready. By default, that would make Mr. King liable in law as the owner of Blizzard.”

He added: “There is absolutely nothing to prevent a dog from getting from one part to another and out of the van. In other words, absolutely no preventative measures.” Mr. Janes went on: “This was a lovely child that was tragically lost, but the law rightly considers the death of any child, even if it’s your own, to be extremely serious. There is a premium, for good reason, on those who choose to have these dogs to get it right.”

At sentencing today, Mr. Janes said Kyra suffered “horrific” injuries, adding that the incident “could have been reasonably foreseen” and “should have been on the defendants’ minds”. He said: “The risks of what occurred were obvious. Leaving a door open for a dog – an excitable one, by their admission – compounded by their recent experiences of what Blizzard had done, and immediately after Blizzard’s senses and instincts had been heightened by the recent exercise, leaving a door open for her to exit through was something that should have been protected against.”

Handing the pair suspended sentences on Monday, Judge Sjolin Knight said the incident resulted from a “tragic conjunction of circumstances”. She said: “This is a tragic case, and I have no doubt that both of you wish every day you could wind the clock back so that incident never happened. There was nothing to trigger [Blizzard’s] attack on Kyra, but on this occasion, she was dangerously out of control.

“Dog ownership is a privilege and for many a pleasure, but it comes with a heavy burden under the Dangerous Dogs Act. “[Blizzard] did an awful thing which neither of you expected and will weigh heavily upon you for the rest of your lives. I don’t believe that this incident was reasonably foreseeable but believe it was a momentary lapse of an otherwise good system. It is appropriate to suspend both sentences.”

King had raced dogs for 20 years after working in the military and also bred huskies, and on the day of the incident had taken his dogs out for a practice run on a well-known route about three miles long. Alcock, a veterinary nurse, had been with King since 2019 and accompanied him on the racing runs, with the pair working “as a team”.

Kyra had been taken along for the runs from just five days old and was described by the judge as a “very much wanted and loved baby”. Blizzard had been bought by King six years before the attack, had been racing for three years, and was pregnant at the time.

Siward James-Moore, mitigating for King, said the incident was “abhorrent” and there had been a “momentary lapse” in the system used by the pair. He said: “The events of that day for Mr. King, and doubtless Miss Alcock, will have a profound, lifelong sense of loss for both of them. No punishment that this court can impose will equal that which they have already endured. The previous experience of Mr. King and Miss Alcock was such that there was no concern that there would be any form of incident.”

Detective Constable Craig Davey, of Lincolnshire Police, said today: “This has been an utterly tragic case, and today, our thoughts are with Kyra and the short life she lived, and the people who loved and lost Kyra. Our investigation was to understand the circumstances which meant Blizzard was able to get close enough to Kyra to inflict such horrific injuries.

“Sadly, we found that she had died from an attack which could have been prevented had safety measures been taken such as closing the dogs in kennels, or ensuring that they couldn’t get out of the van. The dedication and determination of our officers to understand what happened at Ostler’s Plantation is to be commended.

“This was an incredibly difficult case to be involved in, but we knew how important it was that we found out the truth about what had happened. It is a stark reminder to all about the dangers of dogs and children.

“What happened to that three-month-old baby girl is something that will haunt all of us involved in this investigation and the wider public who have been so invested in justice for Kyra, as well as her parents, forever. Today’s sentencing brings justice for Kyra, but I think I could speak for everyone when I say that the sadness at such a senseless loss will remain.”

In other news – Ciara shows off growing baby bump in crop top

Ciara, 37, will soon welcome her fourth child and she’s looking amazing! The singer took to Instagram to share several new photos of herself posing in a pink and orange checkered long-sleeved crop top, which showed off her growing baby bump, and baggy jeans. She also wore tan boots and had most of her hair down with two pigtails on each side.

“CiCi Mama 🙈☎️,” the soon-to-be mom of four wrote alongside the snapshots. It didn’t take long for her fans to respond in the comments section with many compliments. “So adorable!” one fan exclaimed while another wrote, “You carry it so well.” A third congratulated her on becoming a mother again and a fourth called her “so cool all the time.” Read More

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