Two women have been jailed in relation to the fatal dog attack of a nine-year-old boy at a Cornwall holiday park last year.
Frankie MacRitchie, 9, from Plymouth, died after he was attacked by a dog inside a caravan at Tencreek Holiday Park, Looe, Cornwall, on Saturday 13 April 2019.
Sadie Totterdell, 29, from Plymouth, (pictured) was sentenced to three years in prison at Truro Crown Court today, Tuesday 9 June, having previously pleaded guilty to being the owner/person in charge of a dog dangerously out of control causing injury resulting in death – contrary to Section 3(1) and (4) of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.
Frankie’s mother, Tawnee Willis, 31, from Plymouth, was sentenced to two years in prison at Truro Crown Court today, Tuesday 9 June, having previously pled guilty to neglecting a young person, causing unnecessary suffering/injury (on 13/04/2019) – contrary to Section 1(1) Of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933. It seems that the two women were partying in a caravan 40 yards away when the incident happened. Frankie received 54 bite wounds from Winston, an American bulldog/Staffordshire bull terrier cross weighing over 7 stone (45 kg) who had previously attacked another boy.
In a statement, Frankie’s family, said: “Frankie was a special young boy. He was funny, caring and kind – his smile would melt your heart. He was always joking around and he loved everyone.
“Frankie was just becoming a little lad, growing fast, and in a blink of an eye, he was gone. The impact of our boy’s passing on us is huge. We are truly heartbroken.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the help love support and kindness over the last 14 months. The love and compassion for our boy Frankie have been unbelievably beautiful.”
Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Steve Hambly, added: “This has been a tragic and upsetting time for all who knew and loved Frankie and his loss continues to be felt among his home community in Plymouth.
“Given the circumstances and nature of the incident, this was hugely difficult for all of those who were present at the scene and who have had to come to terms with Frankie’s death.
“No one intended for Frankie to be harmed, but Miss Willis accepts that her care of Frankie was neglectful on that night. The dog involved was physically large and powerful, and Miss Totterdell accepts it was dangerously out of control.
“The sentences today provide a real reminder of the responsibilities of dog owners and parents alike.
“Today’s conclusion will hopefully allow a sense of closure for those close to Frankie.”