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Baby death: chaotic court scenes in 'banned dog' sentencing

A Judge has delayed the sentencing of a Northamptonshire mother who has admitted owning a banned breed of dog which killed her baby daughter.

There have been chaotic scenes outside Northampton Crown Court as 23-year old Claire Riley arrived with her family to be sentenced.

6 month old Molly Mae Wotherspoon died in October 2014, she was mauled to death by the family dog, an American Pitbull.

At a previous hearing both Claire Riley and Molly Mae's grandmother 55-year old Susan Aucott, both from Northampton, admitted owning a banned breed of dog.

An ambulance is called to Northampton Crown Court Credit: ITV News Anglia

An ambulance was later called to the court to treat Claire Riley who had become unwell. She was taken away.

The Judge adjourned the hearing until 2pm when he is expected to make a decision of whether or not to proceed with the sentencing.

Mother of baby mauled to death by dog rushed to hospital after scuffle outside court

An ambulance is called to Northampton Crown Court Credit: ITV News Anglia

The mother of a baby who was mauled to death by a dog was rushed to hospital after a scuffle outside the court where she was due to be sentenced.

Six-month-old Molly Mae Wotherspoon died after an American pit bull attacked her in Daventry on October 3rd.

Claire Riley, Molly Mae's mother, pleaded guilty to owning a dangerously out-of-control dog at a previous court hearing.

Riley, 23, of Northampton, was taken away from court in an ambulance before the hearing began on Friday morning at Northampton Crown Court.

Susan Aucott, 55, also of Northampton, had admitted being in charge of a dangerously out-of-control dog and remains in court.

23-year-old Claire Riley is due to be sentenced after admitting she owned a banned breed. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The sentencing has been adjourned until 2pm, when the judge will make a decision on whether or not to proceed today.


Clashes outside court as family arrive for baby death sentencing

Chaotic scenes outside Northampton Crown Court Credit: ITV News Anglia

There were dramatic scenes outside Northampton Crown Court as the mother of a baby who was mauled to death by the family dog, an American Pitbull in October 2014, arrived to be sentenced.

Both the mother and grandmother of six month old Molly-Mae Wotherspoon have admitted owning a banned breed of dog.

At a previous hearing Northampton Crown Court heard the little girl had been left in the care of her grandmother, Susan Aucott, 54.

Her mother Claire Riley, 23, of Merrydale Square, Northampton, had originally denied owning a dog dangerously out of control, but changed her plea at the last moment .

There were clashes with the media outside court Credit: ITV News Anglia

The dog was described by a vet before the attack as the most aggressive she had ever seen.

The court heard Molly Mae suffered severe blood loss from head wounds and died in Northampton Hospital.

The dog, called Bruiser, was put down at the scene. Ownership of pit bulls was banned under the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act. Ms Riley claimed it was a cross breed and therefore not illegal.

Council calls for empty former BHS stores to be filled

The stores closed following the collapse of the BHS chain in April. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The owner of the former BHS premises in Northampton has been contacted by the council who are trying to get the empty shops re-occupied.

The stores closed following the collapse of the BHS chain in April.

The council are concerned as they don't want empty stores in the town centre.

Balloon festival left deflated after high winds stop all flying

For the first time in 27 years there have been no flights at the Northampton Balloon Festival weekend.

High winds meant it wasn't safe to launch any balloons at the event held at Billing Aquadrome.

But they were still able to demonstrate the burners attached to the baskets - which are used to inflate the balloons.

The Northampton Balloon Festival failed to get off the ground Credit: ITV Anglia

It's the first time we haven't been able to fly. We're really disappointed about it. We want to fly as much as everyone wants to see us fly. It's just been incredible the weather this weekend."

– Wendy Rousell

Balloon festival organisers remain hopeful despite weekend dogged by high winds

Northampton Balloon Festival dogged by high winds Credit: ITV Anglia

The organisers of the Northampton Balloon Festival are hoping the winds will drop to allow some flying this afternoon.

So far not one balloon has left the ground - for the first time in the event's 27 year history.

Organisers will be getting a fresh forecast for the Billing Aquadrome area at 1pm and say they hope winds will fall off.

People have still been visiting the festival's other attractions and last night 26 balloon baskets were lit up as part of the event.


CCTV images released of suspect in knifepoint robbery in Wellingborough

CCTV image of the man police want to speak to Credit: Northamptonshire police

CCTV images have been released of a man officers want to trace in connection with a knifepoint robbery at a food shop in Wellingborough.

A man made off with money after pointing a knife at a member of staff, forcing her to empty the till at the Co-op store in Farm Road.

It happened at around 10.20pm on Monday 15th August.

The offender made off with money and scratch cards in the direction of Bacon Road.

Police appeal to identify man in this image Credit: Northamptonshire police

Anyone with information should call Northamptonshire police on the 101 number or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

Northampton couple in court charged with historical sex offences

A man and woman have appeared in court charged with multiple counts of historical drug and sexual assault offences.

Northamptonshire Police said Nicholas Taylor, 47, of no fixed abode, had been charged with 71 offences, including supply of Class A drugs, rape and other sexual offences.

Joan Taylor, 43, from Semilong, Northampton, is facing 34 charges, including supply of Class A drugs, rape, other sexual offences and being in possession of indecent images.

Both have appeared at Northampton Crown Court for a short hearing where no pleas were taken.

They were both remanded in custody and are next due to appear at the same court on October 21st.

'Up and away' for Northampton's Balloon Festival

Last year's festival Credit: ITV News Anglia

Hot air balloons from all over the country will gather today for Northampton's annual Balloon Festival.

The popular event at Billing Aquadrome is celebrating its 27th anniversary.

Thousands of people are expected to attend over the weekend.

Northampton Balloon Festival 2015 Credit: ITV News Anglia

"The balloonists are excited about the annual event giving both local and others from further afield the chance to flying above the Northamptonshire countryside. This continues with the support provided by Billing Aquadrome for the last seven years, since the event moved from the Racecourse in 2009."

– Spokesperson for the balloon festival

7 year old Jacob has one of his dreams come true

Jacob with officers from Northamptonshire police Credit: Northamptonshire police

A 7-year-old boy with terminal cancer who set himself a bucket list challenge has seen one of his dreams come true in Northampton.

Jacob Rhodes set a goal of joining a police chase. He went out on a speedway track in Corby with the county police force and helped to apprehend a pretend criminal.

Jacob has been given five years to live after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

Jacob's day out took place as part of an annual event at the racetrack organised by Sporting Bears.

"You’re not going to forget something like this. Just to live a normal life. Just to be happy for a day, it’s amazing.”

– Sarah, Jacob's mum

"It was immensely rewarding to see this little boy enjoy himself and to be a part of his happiness.”

– PC Ruth Vickery
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