Parents spared jail over husky attack that killed their three-month-old daughter

A couple have been spared prison after their pet Siberian husky mauled their baby daughter to death.

Vince King and Karen Alcock’s three-month-old daughter Kyra King was killed while out in woodland in March 2022.

Their prison sentences have been suspended.

The couple had been out racing their dogs when the husky, called Blizzard, jumped out of their van and mauled baby Kyra.

Kyra was left with multiple injuries, and her parents performed CPR while waiting for the emergency services to arrive.

Blizzard, one of 19 pets kept by the pair, will be put down, Lincoln crown court heard.

Judge Sjolin Knight said the incident resulted from a ‘tragic conjunction of circumstances’.

She said: ‘This is a tragic case, and I have no doubt that both of you wish every day you could wind the clock back so that incident never happened.

‘There was nothing to trigger [Blizzard’s] attack on Kyra, but on this occasion she was dangerously out of control.

‘Dog ownership is a privilege and for many a pleasure, but it comes with a heavy burden under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

‘[Blizzard] did an awful thing which neither of you expected and will weigh heavily upon you for the rest of your lives.

‘I don’t believe this incident was reasonably foreseeable but believe it was a momentary lapse of an otherwise good system.

‘It is appropriate to suspend both sentences.’

Prosecutor Jeremy Janes told the court that the defendants were experienced dog owners and regularly raced the animals, which were used for sport in sledging teams, rather than being domestic pets.

King, 55, had raced dogs for 20 years after working in the military and also bred huskies, and on the day of the incident had taken his dogs out for a practice run on a well-known route about three miles long.

Alcock, a 41-year-old veterinary nurse, had been with King since 2019 and accompanied him on the racing runs, with the pair working ‘as a team’.

Kyra had been taken along for the runs from just five days old and was described by the judge as a ‘very much wanted and loved baby’.

Blizzard had been bought by King six years earlier, had been racing for three years and was pregnant at the time, the court heard.

King pleaded guilty to being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control, causing injury resulting in death, on the first day of his trial on June 1 and has no relevant previous convictions.

Alcock admitted the same charge on December 23 last year and has a previous police caution for being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control, when a spaniel bit a child’s trousers after it had been sat on.

The pair, of Castle Dyke Bank, New York, Lincolnshire, covered their faces as they arrived at court individually, having separated since the incident.

King was given a 10-month sentence, suspended for two years, and was ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work.

Alcock was given an eight-month sentence, also suspended for two years, and was ordered to complete 80 hours of unpaid work.

Judge Knight did not ban the pair from owning dogs.

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