David Ellam death: Owner guilty over fatal dog attack

image copyrightWest Yorkshire Police
image captionDavid Ellam was attacked as he tried to protect his own dog called Rolo

A man has been found guilty of owning an out-of-control dog after his bull terrier fatally injured a neighbour.

David Ellam, 52, died after being attacked by the dog in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, in August 2016.

Aaron Joseph, 30, was convicted of owning a dog dangerously out of control causing injury resulting in death.

Leeds Crown Court heard the dog called Alex was returned by police just a week before the attack because it was not classed as a dangerous breed.

image copyrightGoogle
image captionDavid Ellam lived in the flat below Joseph and had expressed concerns about the dog

Prosecutor Richard Walters said Mr Ellam had raised concerns Alex might be a banned pit bull terrier two months before his death.

Police seized the dog but returned it to Joseph, who lived in the flat above Mr Ellam on Riddings Road, on 8 August.

A dog warden visited Joseph five days before the attack and gave him 21 days to comply with the conditions of a dog control order granted in 2012.

'Long custodial sentence'

On 15 August, Alex escaped from its kennel and attacked Mr Ellam as he left his flat with his own dog, Rolo.

It is thought Mr Ellam was protecting his terrier, which needed emergency veterinary treatment, when the larger dog turned on him.

The case was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission - now the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) - and an investigation is ongoing.

Mr Ellam's family previously said he volunteered at Huddersfield Town FC and also worked as a lollipop man.

Joseph is due to be sentenced on Tuesday and has been warned he is facing "a long custodial sentence".

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