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Girl died as a result of dog attack, coroner rules

A four-year-old girl died when she was mauled to death at home in Leicestershire by the family's pet bulldog, a coroner has recorded in a narrative verdict.

The coroner said he would make recommendations to avoid similar deaths in future, drawing attention to the lack of national standards for rehoming dogs in kennels.

The Aylestone bulldog-type family pet killed Lexi Branson after attacking her in the lounge of their two-bedroom flat in November 2013.

Lexi's mother told the inquest at Rutland and North Leicestershire Coroner's Court that the animal had gone straight for the four-year-old's throat.

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Centre did not visit Lexi's home before giving dog away

By Ben Chapman: ITV News Correspondent

No visit to Lexi Branson's home was made by staff at the rehoming centre before allowing the family to take the dog, an inquest has heard.

Lexi Branson was killed after being attacked by the dog at her Leicestershire home. Credit: PA Wire

Michael Watts, the owner of the centre, said Lexi Branson and her mother's flat was small with no secure garden, but did "not necessarily" qualify for a home visit before giving them the dog.

Watts added that Lexi's mother Jodi Hudson "was given the opportunity to go away and think about" whether it was appropriate to take the dog.

Responsibility for the decision about suitability lies with both the rehoming centre and the potential owner, he added.

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