Chatham dog attack: Missing dog owner caught and jailed

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image captionMichael Thornton's dog attacked an 18-month-old girl in a play area

A man who was jailed in his absence after his dog savaged an 18-month-old girl, leaving her with horrific injuries, has been sent to prison.

Michael Thornton, 27, from Chatham, Kent, had pleaded guilty to owning a dog which was dangerously out of control in a public place.

He failed to attend a sentencing hearing on 10 October and was jailed for two years in his absence.

A warrant was issued for his arrest and he was detained and jailed on Tuesday.

A further 28 days was added to Thornton's prison term at a hearing at Maidstone Crown Court.

Hayley Eldridge, 29, from Chatham, Kent, had also pleaded guilty to the same offence and was jailed for 21 months and two weeks in October.

She was given with a further 16 weeks for perjury.

Both defendants were disqualified from owning a dog for five years.

image captionThe couple had owned the dog for about a week before the attack

The court had been told the girl, who cannot be named, was attacked by the pit bull terrier-type dog as she played with her older sister on the Jenkins Dale estate in Chatham.

Witnesses described the toddler being dragged around by her ponytail and "shaken like a rag doll".

The dog was later shot dead by firearms officers.

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