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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 January 2007, 15:09 GMT
Attack dog owner carries coffin
Kiel Simpson (right) and others carry Ellie Lawrenson's coffin
Kiel Simpson (right) owned the dog which attacked Ellie Lawrenson
The coffin of a five-year-old girl who was killed by a pit bull terrier in Merseyside was carried into church by the dog's owner.

Ellie Lawrenson was fatally mauled by the animal at her grandmother's house in St Helens, on New Year's Day.

The dog belonged to her uncle, 23-year-old Kiel Simpson, who also lives at the house.

Mr Simpson was one of four pallbearers at Ellie's funeral at Eccleston Christ Church, St Helens, on Thursday.

The coffin arrived at the sandstone church on a white carriage, pulled by two white horses.

The funeral cortege of Ellie Lawrenson
About 60 mourners attended the funeral in St Helens

Ellie's parents, Darren Lawrenson and Lyndsey Simpson, and Ellie's grandmother Jackie Simpson travelled to the service in black limousines, with Miss Simpson's siblings, Kiel and Kelsey.

Jackie Simpson was babysitting Ellie while her parents, who also have a baby son, went out to celebrate the New Year.

About 60 mourners were in the church for the funeral.

Afterwards, the funeral cortege left for a private ceremony, understood to be a cremation.

Kiel Simpson was questioned by police over Ellie's death but was not arrested.

The animal, which was destroyed, was subsequently found to be among the breeds prohibited by the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

Ellie was laid to rest in St Helens

Court threat for dog attack owner
03 Jan 07 |  Merseyside
Child attack dog 'pit bull breed'
02 Jan 07 |  Merseyside
Girl killed by pit bull terrier
01 Jan 07 |  Merseyside

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