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Owner of dog that mauled neighbour to death jailed for 10 years

AN ‘ARROGANT’ dog owner whose vicious pet savaged a neighbour to death despite being subject to a control order was today jailed for 10 years.

Aaron Joseph (pictured above), 30, owned cross breed bull terrier Alex which attacked and killed David Ellam, 52, outside his flat after digging under a fence.

Mr Ellam was heard to scream ‘help me, please somebody help me’ as the dog savaged him and dragged in on the ground with its jaw clamped on his leg.

Tragic: David Ellam died trying to protect his pet PICTURE: SWNS

He suffered serious injuries during the horrific attack in August 2016 and died 12 hours later at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.

On Tuesday, it took a jury just 40 minutes to find Joseph, who is the father of an eight-year-old and 14-month-old twins, guilty of having a dog which caused injury resulting in death whilst dangerously out of control.

The court heard that Alex had previously attacked other neighbours and was subject to an order meaning she had to be muzzled, neutered and on a lead in public.

Sentencing Joseph, Judge Sally Cahill said the attack happened because of Joseph’s ‘arrogant and stubborn disregard’ for the welfare and safety of others.

Killer: Alex, a female cross breed bull terrier PICTURE: SWNS

Joseph, described as a semi-professional footballer, blew a kiss to the public gallery as he was led to the cells.

The court heard how Joseph’s crossbreed five-year-old dog Alex savaged Mr Ellam outside his flat while he attempted to defend his own pet.

Former lollipop man Mr Ellam was set upon outside his flat in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, by the snarling beast which had dug its way out of a pen nearby.

It grabbed hold of him by the arm before biting his leg and neighbours described in court hearing desperate screams for help.

One even fetched a knife to stab the animal, but the dog only released Mr Ellam after a police officer sprayed a fire extinguisher at its face.

Attacked: David Ellam’s dog Rolo PICTURE: SWNS

A court heard, the dog was the subject of a control order in October 2012 which stated that it should be neutered, insured and microchipped.

The court heard, Joseph ignored all the terms of the order.

The dog had also previously attacked three other neighbours and a council workman and was on the banned breeding list — a concern previously raised by Mr Ellam and his partner Claire Josling.

Joseph was sentenced to 10 years behind bars and disqualified from owning a dog for life.

Mr Ellam’s partner Claire and friends watched the proceedings from the public gallery wearing Huddersfield United kits emblazoned with ‘Dave Ellam 52’ on the back.

In a victim impact statement from Claire read by prosecutor Jonathan Sharp QC, she described how ‘losing Dave was like turning out the light’ in her life.

She said she had suffered anxiety and sleepless nights since the ‘simply unthinkable’ attack.