Community gathers for candlelit vigil for dog attack victim Alice Stones

A community was united in grief at a vigil for a four-year-old girl who was mauled to death by a family pet in her back garden.

People gathered to mourn the loss of Alice Stones at a church near to the house on Wednesday evening.

Police were called to the home in Broadlands, Netherfield, Milton Keynes, by the ambulance service on Tuesday and Alice died at the scene.

The end-of-terrace home remained cordoned off by police tape on Wednesday, and flowers and soft toy tributes piled up on the pavement.

Thames Valley Police said no arrests have been made and that investigators are working to establish the breed of the dog.

The animal was put down by police on Tuesday evening.

Around 100 people turned out to a vigil that had been organised at Grand Union Vineyard Church, Netherfield Campus, across the road from the house on Wednesday evening.

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Prayers were said for the family as people gathered, holding candles, in the darkness in a green space at the rear of the place of worship.

There were moments of reflection as music was played over speakers, including Amazing Grace and Over The Rainbow.

Donna Fuller, a ward councillor for Woughton Community Council, said the area has a ‘tight-knit community, predominantly families’.

She said the vigil was to ‘enable the community to come together and draw strength from each other’.

She added: ‘It will send a strong message to the family that we are thinking of them.’

She said there is ‘such a sense of shock’ and it is an ‘awful situation’.

She told gathered crowds: ‘This family will need the time and space to allow them to process this tragic event and I hope that we can do that and help them in the future.

‘I would ask that we support each other.

‘There is a feeling of deep sadness that we will feel as a community so I ask you to be neighbourly and I ask you to be supportive and most of all I ask you to be kind.’Neighbour Rita Matthews, 36, said she would see the child while walking her own daughter to school and

Among the floral tributes left to the youngster, one of them read: ‘Alice!! Fly high with the angels little one. The whole community will miss your smile. Our thoughts are with the whole family, especially her mum.’

Police said there will be an increased presence of officers in the area with ‘reassurance patrols during early shifts and late shifts’.

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