THE funeral of a four-year-old boy mauled to death by a pitbull took place yesterday with the uncle arrested for his manslaughter carrying the child’s coffin.
Christian Foulkes, suspected of being the owner of the dog, Uno, which savaged the youngster, dabbed tears from his eyes as he was overcome with grief alongside the boy’s father, John, and two other pallbearers.
Foulkes, 21, was away training to join the army when the dog attacked while the boy was staying with his grandmother, Helen Foulkes in Wavertree, Liverpool on November 30.
Ms Foulkes, 63, was injured as she battled to pull the dog off her grandson, whom she was babysitting with his brother, Craig, 13, while their parents went out for the night.
Tests showed that the dog, called Uno, was a pitbull, banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act, prompting the arrest of his uncle.
Yesterday the toddler’s family were united in grief as more than 300 mourners packed St Anne’s Roman Catholic Church in Liverpool.
Everton flags, in tribute to the youngster’s favourite football team, and blue and white plumes festooned two white horses which pulled the carriage bearing John Paul’s coffin to the church.
His white coffin was also embossed with the blue Everton crest and the four pallbearers all wore Everton shirts with the name of the youngster on the back.
His father was almost bent double as he was overcome with grief, John Paul’s brother, Craig, 13, comforting him.
Christian Foulkes dabbed tears from his eyes and was hugged by family.
John Paul’s mother, Angela McGlynn clutched a teddy and toys as she followed the coffin.
A card, from John Paul’s uncle Christian, read: “If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane we would walk right up to heaven and bring you back again.”
Charlotte Massey, a cousin of the youngster, read a tribute: “John Paul was a very loving little boy and he had a lot of love to give. Always there with cuddles and kisses.
“He was his dad’s best mate and they idolised each other.”
The boy’s father kissed his son’s coffin before the carriage led away mourners for the private burial.
Christian Foulkes is on bail until March next year.
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