These are the first pictures of a mother and daughter who allegedly owned dogs which mauled a six-year-old girl as she played with a friend.
Elizabeth Sneddon Mitchell and Stacy Mielnik, from Ashington in Northumberland, made their first appearance before a court in connection with the attack by two bulldogs which left Ellie Hall seriously injured.
Mitchell, 42, of Milburn Road, and daughter Mielnik, 20, of Chestnut Street, are both charged with being the owner of a dog which was dangerously out of control and whilst so, injured Ellie.
At Mid and South East Northumberland Magistrates’ Court at Bedlington the duo appeared together. No pleas were entered by either woman.
The case was adjourned until August 19 when a hearing will take place at Newcastle Crown Court.
Elizabeth Mitchell (left) and Stacey Mielnik at Bedlington Magistrates Court
It was transferred to the higher court following an application by prosecutor James Long, which was not resisted by defence solicitors Graham Crowth, for Mielnik, or Steve Chambers, for Mitchell.
He told magistrates, chaired by David Archer: “The prosecution say this is not suitable for summary trial and invite you to send the case to Crown court and my two friends do not seek to persuade you otherwise.
“This prosecution arises out of an attack by the defendants’ dogs on a six-year-old child who suffered serious injuries.
“She lost part of her ear and suffered significant bite marks and bite marks to leg and arms. Given sentencing powers that exist, your powers of sentencing would be insufficient.”
Mitchell, formerly of Portia Street, and Mielnik were granted unconditional bail.
Central Primary School pupil Ellie and pal Kaitlyn Groves, aged six, were riding their scooters in the lane behind their Portia Street homes at around 3pm on Sunday, May 4 when the former was bitten by American bulldogs. Kaitlyn ran home to tell her parents.
Ellie Hall with her mum Tina
Jason Charlton, whose Katherine Street home is on the opposite side of the lane to the Hall family’s home, heard the attack and came out onto the lane with a crow bar he was to use on his motorbike.
He and Josh Cardno and Clint Baird – both armed with sticks – chased the dogs away allowing Ellie to escape and go home to tell her parents.
They later spoke of their gratitude to their neighbours for saving their daughter’s life.
Ellie had part of her ear ripped off, lost a chunk of her arm and suffered puncture wounds to her head and body.
She was taken to Wansbeck General Hospital and later transferred to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle where she underwent plastic surgery.
Ellie was released after several days in hospital.
The two dogs were destroyed following the attack.
The alleged owners voluntarily attended a police station to help officers with their inquiries and were later summonsed by officers to attend court.