Man whose dog killed David Ellam is locked up immediately after being found guilty

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Aaron Joseph is to be sentenced tomorrow but was remanded in custody after the verdict was returned.

A jury took just 39 minutes to convict the owner of a dog which killed a man while he was protecting his own pet.

Aaron Joseph’s dog killed David Ellam in 2016 and today a jury unanimously found him guilty of owning a dangerously out of control dog.

The mongrel bull terrier called Alex escaped from the garden and attacked Mr Ellam and his Yorkshire Terrier Rolo on the morning of August 15 – just one week after police had returned the dog after seizing it.

The incident happened outside the block of flats the men lived in on Riddings Road in Sheepridge.

On the sixth day of a trial at Leeds Crown Court , Judge Sally Cahill QC summed up the evidence to the jury.

She said neighbour Naomi Russell had told police at around 9.40am on the day in question her children told her there was a dog attacking a man outside.

She looked out of her bedroom window and “once she saw the dog get hold of him she did not see it let go”.

Mr Ellam, a popular Huddersfield Town fan who worked as a lollipop man, was shouting for help, saying things such as “somebody help me for f**k’s sake” and “I can’t take any more of this”.

The dog was “snarling, growling and shaking its head from side to side like it was trying to sever the leg”.

Other neighbours heard him shout “get the f**king dog off me” and “f**king help me” and one saw her dragging Mr Ellam. They rang the police.

A male neighbour even threw a knife into the garden and told Mr Ellam, 52, to stab the dog, but he said that he could not.

The first police officer on the scene found wounds on Mr Ellam’s legs and arms and said the dog had blood on its mouth, neck and torso.

The court had also heard that the dog had bitten and scratched other neighbours in the past.

Katherine Pierpoint, defending, said that Alex was sometimes “overexcited and upset his neighbours”, but no one left the scene of those incidents “screaming blue murder saying ‘you’ve got to do something about this dog’.”

She also said: “[Joseph] says he was told [by police]the dog was not a prohibited breed. Well, that is right.”

She added: “The authorities knew that she was going back to where she had been before, in that garden, in those circumstances.”

The case was adjourned until sentencing tomorrow morning and Joseph, 30, of Hopkinson Road in Sheepridge, was remanded in custody.

A request for him to be granted bail overnight was denied by the judge, who said he had had enough time to sort out his affairs.

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