Elayne Stanley inquiry: Mother-of-three was attacked by American bulldogs after argument with her daughter | UK News

Elayne Stanley inquiry: Mother-of-three was attacked by American bulldogs after argument with her daughter | UK News


A mother-of-three died after she was attacked by her American bulldogs following an argument with her daughter, an inquest has heard.

Elayne Stanley, 44, suffered multiple injuries from dog bites at her home in Widnes, Cheshire on 24 September 2019.

The dogs, named DJ and Billy, had previously been owned by her partner Paul Leigh and in 2016 court orders were made requiring him to keep them under control.

At the inquest on 7 April at Parr Hall, Warrington, heard from Miss Stanley’s daughter, Louise Smith, who said the dogs lived with her mother for about three years.

“My mum was happy with it, she had them around her two children and my two,” Miss Smith said.

She added that she was unaware of incidents involving the dogs in 2016, including an attack on another dog that had to be put to sleep and an incident where another dog owner was injured.

She also said that she didn’t know if her mother was aware that Mr Leigh, who was not in attendance, had been convicted under the Dangerous Dogs Act in 2016.

Miss Smith visited her mother’s home on Graham Road after college on 24 September 2019, where they had a “heated discussion”.

She told the inquest as she went to leave DJ, a male American bulldog crossed with a dogue de Bordeaux, bit her mother on the bottom of her leg.

She said she tried to put the other dog, Billy, into the kitchen but it joined in the attack so she went get help.

“They were really big dogs, there was no way I was getting two dogs off her,” Miss Smith said.

The court heard neighbours threw bricks into the house at the dogs and managed to contain them in the back garden of the property, while Miss Stanley’s twin daughters, then aged 12, were in an upstairs bedroom.

Miss Stanley was treated at the scene but she could not be saved.

Jason Lennox, lead dog legislation officer for Cheshire Police, told the inquest American bulldogs were “guarding dogs” and could pick up on body language during arguments.

He said: “DJ has interpreted this as a potential problem and has tried to stop any physical contact.”

Asked by Miss Smith if the dogs may have detected she was pregnant, he said: “He may well have sensed you were pregnant and may well have been trying to protect you, or trying to protect you and the baby.”

DJ was put down at the scene after two attempts to sedate him were unsuccessful while Billy, a female dog, was taken away from the house and later euthanised, Mr Lennox said.

Coroner Peter Sigee said Mr Leigh had been called to give evidence but he did not attend.

The inquest heard a transcript of a police interview in which he claimed he was not the owner of the dogs, although he had admitted owning them during court proceedings in 2016.

He told police: “Not once have them dogs ever been owned by me, except when I went into that courtroom.”



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