Father jailed over Doncaster dog attack which killed 12-day-old baby

31 March 2022, 21:13

court
Father jailed for four years over Doncaster dog attack which killed 12 day old baby. Picture: Alamy

By Liam Gould

A father whose dog killed his 12-day-old son in their home last year has been jailed for four years after the judge deemed it "a tragedy waiting to happen."

Elon Jase Ellis-Joynes was killed by a Chow Chow Alsatian-cross at his home in Doncaster last year after his father failed to train the dog properly.

Stephen Joynes repeatedly struck and kicked his dog, failed to train it with children and allowed it to scare his neighbours.

The same dog had also attacked a child, one of Elon's older siblings, a few weeks before the incident.

Joynes previously pleaded guilty to being in charge of a dangerously out of control dog causing injury resulting in death.

An identical charge against Elon's mother, Abigail Ellis, 28, was dropped in December last year. After Joynes' guilty plea there was "no longer a realistic [chance of] conviction as far as Miss Ellis is concerned."

Prosecutor Richard Thyne said Mr Joynes moved into the Ellis family home after starting a relationship and brought the dog, called Teddy, with him.

The court heard Ms Ellis had three previous children from a different partner, who died three years earlier.

Mr Joynes claimed it had been "banished to the back garden" for bad behaviour, but was found by police standing over the injured baby inside the house barking.

The child was taken to Doncaster Royal Infirmary where he died later the same afternoon. The baby had between 30 and 40 puncture wounds and two lacerations to the abdomen, the court heard.

Mr Thyne said neighbours had doubled the size of their fences to prevent the dog from jumping into their gardens in the months before Elon's death.

The dog would jump over "sometimes several times a day," leaving them "uneasy and intimidated," the court heard. It was also reported that he used to "kick and shout at the dog."

The court heard a retelling of the incident where Ms Ellis had gone to the bathroom and Mr Joynes was in the garden playing with the children when the dog attacked the infant.

Mr Thyne told the court: "The defendant and Ms Ellis in interview said he had been left safely in his pram, but the prosecution case is that he must in fact have been placed on the sofa."

It was then one of the children noticed the dog was missing, and found the dog inside the house. Ms Ellis then made a "distressed" 999 call, the court heard.

Sentencing Joynes, judge Jeremy Richardson QC said Elon's death was "a tragedy waiting to happen".

"What punishment could anyone give to this man that is greater than the punishment he has already been given, and will have for the rest of his life?

"You knew the dog was unmanageable and had vicious characteristics," he said. "You had made no attempt to socialise the dog with children - all you did was kick and hit the dog and put it outside."

He added: "You were an utterly inadequate dog owner and failed to protect your infant son."

Mr Joynes has also been banned from keeping a dog for the next 15 years.

Detective Chief Inspector for South Yorkshire Police Lee Townley said: "This was an utterly tragic incident that left a family and the wider community completely devastated. Any death is a tragedy but the loss of a young baby in such awful circumstances makes this even more upsetting.

"My thoughts and heartfelt condolences remain with the family today."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Shani Louk (left), Itzhak Gelerenter and Amit Buskila.

'No father would want to hear this': Shani Louk's family speak out after Nova festival victim's body discovered in Gaza

Maths teacher Rebecca Joynes was found guilty of having sex with two schoolboys

Female teacher, 30, given one last chance to see baby after being found guilty of having sex with two schoolboys

Steve Buscemi

Man charged over random assault on actor Steve Buscemi in New York

Obit Dabney Coleman

Actor Dabney Coleman, who specialised in curmudgeons, dies aged 92

David DePape, 44, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison in the US.

Man who attacked Nancy Pelosi's husband with hammer sentenced to 30 years behind bars

Scottie Scheffler was detained by police near the PGA Championship course

World No1 golfer Scottie Scheffler 'in shock' after being arrested as he reveals he warmed up for US PGA in jail cell

Charles, Camilla and William will join forces to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day

King Charles to make first overseas trip since cancer diagnosis for D-Day anniversary event with Camilla and William

Manchester Pride says its survey has found 45% of LGBTQ+ people in Greater Manchester are calling for more action to tackle hate crimes.

'Nearly half' of LGBTQ+ people calling for more action to tackle hate crimes, survey reveals

Dana Abuqamar, 19, has said she's had her student visa revoked

Palestinian student who faces deportation over October 7 comments insists she was not referring to Hamas

David DePape

Man convicted of attacking Nancy Pelosi’s husband with hammer sentenced to jail

France New Caledonia Unrest

Violence in New Caledonia subsides slightly as France sends in reinforcements

Itzhak Gelerenter, Shani Louk and Amit Buskila

Bodies of three hostages killed at October 7 music festival recovered in Gaza

Floating pier

First deliveries of aid for Gaza Strip move across newly built floating pier

Max the cat on a wall

Max the friendly cat awarded honorary degree by US university

Maths teacher Rebecca Joynes has been found guilty of having sex with two schoolboys

How maths teacher Rebecca Joynes ruined her ‘dream career’ as she’s found guilty of sex with two schoolboys

Shani Louk, Itzhak Gelerenter and Amit Buskila

Bodies of three hostages, including Shani Louk kidnapped at Nova music festival, recovered by Israel in Gaza