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Man jailed after his seven-stone dog killed his grandmother

Craig Greve
Craig Greve
An American Bulldog, the breed involved in this horrific incident
An American Bulldog, the breed involved in this horrific incident

A man whose dog killed his frail grandmother has been jailed for five and a half years.

Rhona Greve died after being bitten 16 times by her grandson's seven-stone American Bulldog called Solo.

Cardiff Crown Court heard that 23-year-old Craig Greve, who only came out of jail last year, had previously been banned from keeping dogs after a former pet of his attacked another animal.

Among the injuries widow Mrs Greve suffered included serious neck and face wounds as well as fractured ribs.

The 64-year-old, who had heart problems, died later the same evening in hospital and a court heard she may have survived had an ambulance not taken 98 minutes to arrive at her home in Ely, Cardiff.

When unemployed Greve was given the news his grandmother had died, he told police that his "life was over".

He pleaded guilty to one count contrary to the Dangerous Dogs Act - namely being the owner of a dangerously out-of-control dog which injured Mrs Greve resulting in her death.

Prosecution counsel David Elias accused the defendant of "intimidating" his grandmother into pretending Solo was her pet because it would get him out of trouble.

Mr Elias said: "He risked his grandmother's health in the hope his ownership of the dog would not be discovered by the police."

A court heard the attack happened on March 20 when Greve returned to his grandmother's home after a night out.

After Greve knocked on the door because he did not have a key, Solo suddenly went beserk.

After witnessing the incident, he broke a window with a garden ornament before yelling at the animal.

Craig Greve outside court (Pic: BBC)

However, the Crown said the defendant was "reluctant" to dial 999 despite a plea from his grandmother asking for her phone. Mr Elias told the court it was in fact a neighbour who contacted emergency services - and not the defendant.

He also said that Greve had previously gone to prison for assaulting his grandmother.

But defending barrister John Charles Rees QC said Mrs Greve loved her grandson and she was also fond of Solo - and would even cook steak for the dog.

He also explained his client did not ring the police because he was in a state of shock - and said that police officers later saw Greve visibly shaking and looking distraught.

Mr Rees also pointed out that an ambulance did not arrive for an hour and 38 minutes after first being called, by which time Mrs Greve had gone into cardiac arrest.

"The injuries alone had not caused Rhona's death, but they led to a fatal heart attack," Mr Rees added.

"There is a realistic possibility if the ambulance had turned up when it should have done Rhona Greve would not have died."

The Recorder of Cardiff Judge Eleri Rees gave the defendant maximum credit for his early guilty plea as well as his "genuine remorse".

However, she said the defendant was more concerned about himself than his grandmother to begin with.

Before handing Greve his prison term, she said: "Your grandmother suffered the most painful and shocking attack.

"She must have suffered greatly in the two hours or so before her death."

The court heard that Solo has been destroyed.