Mother speaks of dog attack ‘nightmare’

Ava-Jayne Corless

Ava-Jayne Corless

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A mother has spoken of her waking “nightmare” on finding her 11-month-old daughter’s lifeless body after she had been attacked by an alleged banned dog that weighed nine stone.

Ava-Jayne Corless suffered “unsurvivable” multiple injuries inflicted by a pitbull terrier-type dog as she slept alone in the bedroom of her mother’s then boyfriend’s home in Blackburn in February, an inquest was told.

Her mother, Chloe King, 21, said she and ex-partner Lee Wright, 27, had fallen asleep on the settee downstairs and she believed his dog, Snoop, was in the kitchen where he was blocked in by a speaker and a golf bag stand.

Miss King described in a statement to police how she later woke and went upstairs to make the grim discovery late in the evening of February 10.

She said: “I walked into the bedroom. The landing light was on but the bedroom light was not. I remember seeing there was a dark stain about halfway down the bed.

“I noticed the dog was in the bedroom and I thought: ‘What is it doing there?’”

University student Miss King added: “I turned the light on, I saw Ava pale, her lips were really white. I thought she was asleep for a split second. I then noticed drops of blood on the floor.

“I ran out in the hallway. I thought I was going to pass out. I felt sick and I collapsed on the floor. I thought I (had) woke up in a nightmare and it could not be happening.”

Snoop was tranquillised by a police firearms officer in the back yard of the property in the early hours of February 11 and was then given a lethal injection by a vet.

Wright is facing trial at a magistrates’ court next February on an allegation that in contravention of the Dangerous Dogs Act he possessed a banned dog. He denies the offence.

The inquest at Blackburn King George’s Hall continues.