Lexi Branson: Ghoulish Media Feasts Off Killed Child With Misinformation And Spreads Fear Over Dogs
THE family’s pet dog killed Lexi Hudson at her home, a flat in Rowena Court in Mountsorrel, Leicestershire. Lexi was four. The dog is also now dead.
The Mirror says Lexi was killed by her “PET MASTIFF”. Not “pet dog”. The Mirror is specific.
Only, the dog in the picture is not the dog that killed her. The Mirror, in the race to be first with news and pictures – roll up, come see the dead kid! – gets the facts wrong.
It then adds:
Turner And Hooch? Sweet of the Mirror to merge fact and Hollywood fiction in the gruesome death of a child.
The Daily Mail then gets to work:
A pitbull is on the list of dangerous dogs.
Under the original 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act the list of banned breeds or so called dangerous breeds was quite short and is as follows:
Any Dog known as a Pitbull type
Any dog known to be bred for fighting, or having the appearance of having been bred for fighting.
The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 was amended in August 1991 to include additional breeds of “dangerous dogs”. Under the amendment the following dog breeds were added:
Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 Banned Breeds List
Thus the full list of banned breeds under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 is as follows:
Any dog known as a pitbull type (eg American Pitbulls, Blue Nose Pitbulls, Red Nose Pitbulls)
And any dog who in the opinion of the Secretary of State was bred for fighting, or has the appearance of a dog bred for fighting
But Leicestershire police say:
Investigations are continuing into the circumstances that led to a four-year-old girl being attacked and killed by the family dog.
Leicestershire Police is able to confirm, on behalf of the Coroner, that the girl’s name is Lexi Branson.
Tests are being carried out today to establish the exact breed of the dog but at this stage it is not believed to be a breed listed under Section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act.
The Times says the French Mastiff had been rescued by the family from an animal shelter just weeks previously.
The Times then calls the child Lexi Hudson:
Neighbours speak out:
Neighbour Mr Ryan says: “Jodi is absolutely distraught. She’s only had the dog for two months. She picked it up from the pound — it was a dog that had suffered abuse in the past but she said it had a very soft nature. Lexi was always playing with it. It’s obviously a huge dog and Lexi wouldn’t have stood a chance if it went for her — she’s such a small little girl…. Apparently it suddenly turned on Lexi for no reason. She was in bed sleeping with her mum and it came in and just went mental. It grabbed Lexi and wouldn’t let go. Jodi was screaming and trying to pull its head away but it wouldn’t give in. In the end she had to use a knife to release its jaw. It must have been absolutely terrifying.”
Neighbour, Glenn Shepphard adds:
“It was a very big dog — a type I have never seen before. I saw Jodie outside with blood and mud up her arm crying outside and mud all up her legs. She had obviously tried to wrestle with the dog. The girl was only about four or five years old — I think she had only just started primary school.”
Such are the facts when the voracious media races to be first with a story when the facts are still unclear.