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Pair admit being in charge of dog that killed 10-year-old boy

Jack Lis, 10, was mauled to death by a dog at the home of a friend in south Wales in November (family handout/PA)
Jack Lis, 10, was mauled to death by a dog at the home of a friend in south Wales in November (family handout/PA)

A man and a woman have pleaded guilty to being in charge of a dog that mauled a 10-year-old boy to death.

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

Amy Salter, 28, and Brandon Hayden, 19, appeared at Cardiff Crown Court on Thursday.

Salter, of Trethomas, Caerphilly, admitted being a person in charge of a dog dangerously out of control, causing injury resulting in Jack’s death.

Hayden, of Penyrheol, Caerphilly, pleaded guilty to being the owner of the dog that killed Jack.

The teenager also admitted five offences of owning a dog dangerously out of control between November 4 and 7.

Tributes to Jack Lis
Flowers left outside the house where Jack Lis was killed (PA)

The court heard two of those incidents resulted in injuries to two members of the public, Michael Ball and Sian Sullivan.

Ms Sullivan was injured by the dog on November 7, the day before Jack was attacked.

Salter and Hayden spoke only to confirm their names and to enter their pleas.

Members of Jack’s family sat in the public gallery throughout the hearing.

Judge Michael Fitton QC set a date for sentencing on June 10.

The pair were allowed to remain on bail on the condition they do not contact prosecution witnesses, enter Penyrheol, or be in possession of any dog.

Pentwyn dog attack
The order of service for the funeral of Jack Lis (PA)

Hayden was also told he must not upload any photos of himself with dogs to social media.

Salter was told not to have any contact with children under the age of 18 unless granted by social services.

During a previous hearing at Newport Magistrates’ Court on April 7, prosecutor Nathan Fear said all seven offences in the case were “intertwined” as they involved the same dog.

Mr Fear said: “On November 4 there were three incidents that took place where the dog has jumped up on individuals, bit towards another person and been aggressive towards other people.

“There is a further offence of that date where Michael Ball, who was leaving the Top Shops, has walked past Beast and it has jumped up and bitten him.

“Then moving to November 7 there is a further offence where Sian Sullivan has been at the same Top Shops, initially spoken to the defendant Brandon Hayden who has reassured her the dog would not bite and just jump up, and at that stage the dog had bitten and taken hold of her hoodie causing injuries to her stomach.

“The final incident is in relation to November 8.”

Mr Fear said Jack entered Salter’s property after school and was standing near the door when the dog jumped on him.

The emergency services including paramedics from the Welsh Ambulance Service were called to the house at around 3.55pm but were unable to save him.

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

Police firearms officers attended the scene and destroyed the dog.

Pentwyn dog attack
The hearse carrying the coffin of Jack Lis leaves St Martin’s Church, Caerphilly, after his funeral (PA)

The animal was later found to be an 115lb American bully or XL bully, which are not on the banned breed list.

In a statement issued the day after he was killed, Jack’s family said: “Our boy made us the proudest parents and family on the planet. He was the sweetest of boys.”

A funeral held for Jack 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.