Dogs kill boy (8)

2015-12-13 22:43
James Sinkins with his father Graydon.

James Sinkins with his father Graydon. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - An eight-year-old Merrivale boy has died after a vicious attack by his neighbours’ dogs that took place inside his yard.

James, the son of Witness bookseditor and previous arts editor ­Estelle and Graydon Sinkins, was playing in his yard in Geekie Road on Thursday afternoon when he was attacked by the two German Shepherd-cross dogs who mauled him severely.

His distraught mother last night paid tribute to her son.

“James brought immeasurable joy into our lives and to the many other lives he touched in the eight-and-a-half years he walked on this Earth. He was taken away too soon and in a way which left us devastated. We hope that by sharing our story, it won’t happen ever again.”

Earlier, when James was clinging to his life in hospital, his mother said: “I was in my car when I saw our dog jumping all over and ­barking. I realised something was wrong and ran to look over the fence and saw one dog had grabbed my son by the neck and the other was biting his leg.”

Sinkins said she immediately rushed over to pull the dogs off her son but they would not let go.

“Even as I was running toward him, the dogs did not let go. I had to pull them off him. My son’s little body was covered in blood,” wept Sinkins.

James was rushed to the Howick Mediclinic Hospital and underwent extensive surgery to try and repair the damage caused by the dog bites on Thursday. Yesterday, he was transferred to the ICU at St Anne’s Hospital for a blood transfusion and possibly another operation.

However, he suffered a major setback and died yesterday afternoon.

Before James died, Sinkins said: “I am so angry and in shock. I just cannot get that image [of the dogs attacking him] out of my head. I don’t think I ever will.”

She added that the same dogs had attacked and killed the family’s Labrador a few years ago.

“When that happened, I wanted those dogs put down but they begged me and I was too ­soft-hearted and let it go,” added Sinkins.

Owner of the dogs Shanaaz ­Alladin said she was not at home when the incident occurred and is still unsure of the details. When contacted by Weekend Witness ­yesterday, she conceded that she would remove the dogs from the property by late yesterday.

She said the two dogs, Seth and Titus, had run out of their property and onto the road.

Before James died, Alladin said: “No one has told me what actually happened and until then I don’t ­really know what to do. I know that I love my dogs and I feel terribly sorry for the child but it’s an ­incident between two innocent parties and I am torn because I feel for both.”

Sinkins said she had reported the incident to the Howick police.

Police spokesperson Captain Gay Ebrahim confirmed that a criminal case of keeping a ferocious dog was registered at SAPS Howick and was under investigation. Later, after James died, police confirmed that an inquest docket had been opened.

After Umgeni SPCA manager Dudu Abrahams was informed late yesterday that James had died, she said the dogs would be removed from the property immediately. She later confirmed that the ­owners had surrendered the dogs and that they had been taken to the SPCA and would be euthanased ­today.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  dog attack

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