No charge over dog attack on Braintree girl

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Media captionAbbie Varrow's father, Tony, says the decision opens the lid on "a can of worms"

The father of a five-year-old girl mauled by a dog has spoken of his disgust after it was decided no legal action is to be taken over the attack.

Abbie Varrow needed 60 stitches after she was attacked when she visited the home of a friend in Braintree, Essex.

A man was later arrested on suspicion of owning a dangerous dog but it was then decided there was "insufficient evidence" for criminal charges.

Tony Varrow accused prosecutors of "sending out the wrong message".

"I am disgusted at what's happened," he said.

"I cannot believe that they have done absolutely nothing about this.

"I was quite shocked. Nothing was even put in place for the dog."

'Horrendous incident'

Mr Varrow spoke of his "initial rage" at seeing his daughter's injuries following the attack in Great Notley in March.

"I felt sick," he said. "My poor little daughter is scarred. It was a horrific sight to see."

But a spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service said: "Having given very careful consideration to all of the available evidence, a decision was made in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors that there was insufficient evidence to advise the police to charge with any offences relating to keeping a dangerous dog.

"The law says that in order to show that a criminal offence had been committed, we would need to prove that the dog had left its owner's garden when the alleged injury was inflicted.

"There was not sufficient evidence that the dog had encroached into its neighbour's garden during the incident, and as such there is insufficient evidence to prove the offence in law, and there was no realistic prospect of conviction.

"That is the test the CPS must apply. Our sympathies are with the victim of this horrendous incident."

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