BY – Isaac Faith
An American couple has avoided a jail sentence due to the unfortunate death of their daughter.
The judge ruled that the incident was not reasonably foreseeable, sparing the couple who were arrested after their 3-month-old daughter Kyra, was tragically killed by their Siberian husky, Blizzard.
The father, 55-year-old Vince King, a former military worker, had a background in racing and breeding dogs, including huskies. Kyra’s mother, Karen Alcock, a 41-year-old veterinary nurse, had been with King since 2019.
During the incident, both the parents and Kyra, who had been accompanying them on runs since she was just five days old, followed their routine of going out for a practice run with the dogs on a familiar route spanning about three miles. However, this time unfolded differently: while attempting to switch the dogs in the van through the front seat door, one of the 20 dogs named Blizzard, which the couple had transported, managed to escape from its cage. Tragically, Blizzard landed on the three-month-old Kyra, who was peacefully sleeping in her pram, resulting in severe head and neck injuries.
As emergency services were en route to the location, the parents made efforts to perform CPR on the baby, but the injuries sustained went beyond what could be addressed on the surface.
Kyra’s passing was tragically confirmed immediately, and following the incident, her parents were taken into custody. Subsequently, they have been attending hearings over the course of time.
The judicial proceedings reached their conclusion on Monday, August 14, as the Judges issued suspended sentences to the couple. During the sentencing, Judge Sjolin Knight noted that the unfortunate incident stemmed from a “tragic conjunction of circumstances.”
Adding that; “This is a tragic case, and I have no doubt that both of you wish every day you could wind the clock back so that incident never happened.
“There was nothing to trigger [Blizzard’s] attack on Kyra, but on this occasion she was dangerously out of control.
“[Blizzard] did an awful thing which neither of you expected and will weigh heavily upon you for the rest of your lives.
“I don’t believe that this incident was reasonably foreseeable but believe it was a momentary lapse of an otherwise good system.”
Initially, the couple received their sentences: King was handed a 10-month imprisonment term, suspended for two years, along with a requirement to fulfill 100 hours of unpaid work. Alcock, on the other hand, was given an eight-month suspended sentence, coupled with a directive to complete 80 hours of unpaid work.
Notably, the couple was exempted from any monetary penalties related to their guilt in relation to the offense of having control over a dangerously unrestrained dog.
Both King and Alcock had previously entered guilty pleas, with King admitting guilt on June 1 of the current year, and Alcock confessing on December 23 of the preceding year. The incident itself had taken place earlier in a wooded area on March 6 of the previous year.
Blizzard which was bought six years before the incident had been unexplainably active a week before the incident and was still so hyper active according to the couple. Alcock also noted that the dog had escaped two weeks before the incident so she called her an “escape artist” while King described her as “very energetic and eager to run, but not aggressive”.
Throughout his two decades of caring for dogs, King had never encountered charges related to being in control of a dog deemed hazardous. However, Alcock had previously dealt with such a charge, albeit in a distinct scenario where a spaniel had bitten a child’s trousers after the child accidentally sat on it.
Nonetheless, while presenting mitigating factors for King, Siward James-Moore contended that the incident was “abhorrent” and there had been a “momentary lapse” in the system used by the pair and affirmed that; the events of that day for Mr King, and doubtless Miss Alcock, will have a profound, lifelong sense of loss for both of them.
“No punishment that this court can impose will equal that which they have already endured.
“The previous experience of Mr King and Miss Alcock was such that there was no concern that there would be any form of incident.”
Amidst it all, the couple’s faces remained concealed, and they had been kept apart from each other ever since the occurrence.