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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 November 2007, 18:00 GMT
Ellie's death 'unlawful killing'
Ellie Lawrenson
Ellie suffered severe head and neck injuries
A coroner has ruled the death of a five-year-old Ellie Lawrenson in St Helens was unlawful killing.

The coroner's verdict comes after a jury found the youngster's grandmother Jackie Simpson not guilty of manslaughter through gross negligence.

The girl's inquest was held at Whiston Coroner's Court on Wednesday.

Ellie was killed on New Year's Day when Reuben, her uncle's illegal pit bull terrier, attacked her at Ms Simpson's home in Knowles Avenue, Eccleston.

Reuben
Reuben locked his jaws around Ellie's throat and shook her

The dog inflicted 72 horrific injuries during the attack and was later destroyed by a police marksman.

Ms Simpson stood trial in September, when it was alleged that she broke a family rule by letting the dog into the house but she was cleared of the charge.

Kiel Simpson, 24, was jailed for eight weeks at Liverpool Magistrates' Court in May after admitting owning a dog banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.



SEE ALSO
Ellie's grandmother accepts blame
06 Sep 07 |  Merseyside
Armed help plea over killer dog
05 Sep 07 |  Merseyside
Killer dog was 'jealous' of Ellie
04 Sep 07 |  Merseyside
Grandmother 'let in' killer dog
03 Sep 07 |  Merseyside

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