Mum, 31, in court over death of son, 9, killed in dog attack

Two women have appeared in court charged in relation to a dog attack that killed a nine-year-old boy. Frankie Macritchie, from Plymouth, died while on holiday at Tencreek Holiday Park in Looe, Cornwall, in April last year. Police were called to a caravan at the site just before 5am after Frankie was attacked by a dog, and the schoolboy was pronounced dead at the scene. Frankie’s mother, Tawney Willis, 31, appeared by telephone at Truro Crown Court on Friday along with Sadie Totterdell, 29.

Willis is charged with neglecting Frankie in a manner likely to cause him unnecessary suffering or injury to health, contrary to the Children and Young Persons Act 1933. Totterdell is charged with being the owner of an American bulldog/Staffordshire cross that was dangerously out of control and injured Frankie, who died as a result of the injuries, contrary to the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. The pair, both from Plymouth, did not enter formal pleas to the charges against them.

Judge Simon Carr adjourned the case and ordered Willis to appear next on April 24, with Totterdell’s case listed for a further hearing on June 9. In a statement issued through Devon and Cornwall Police after Frankie’s death, his family described him as a ‘very happy cheeky boy’. They added: ‘Our wonderful little Frankie will be so very missed by all of his family with every breath that we take.’