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from This is London


Fox attacks girl in her bedroom

By Rob McNeil, Evening Standard

September 4, 2003

A young girl was left in agony after being attacked by a fox while she slept.

The animal bit four-year-old Jessica Brown after creeping through an open door at her home in Tufnell Park.

Her parents Richard Brown, and his wife, Corinne Magnier, both 36, had been watching a video downstairs when they heard her screams.

Mr Brown, an English teacher, said: "It was about 9.30pm on Sunday. We'd left the back door open as we often do in the summer. We heard a loud cry from Jessica's room and my wife dashed up and screamed at me to come upstairs. She was shouting that there was a cat in the room and then she said, 'No, it's a fox'. I ran upstairs, saw the fox and managed to chase it out.

"I went back upstairs and saw Jessica's arm, which had big, U-shaped teeth marks on it, and there was blood.

"We got into the car and dashed to hospital. She was seen in about 15 minutes."

He continued: "Jessica has recovered well. She slept in our room that night but has been back in her own bed since."

He believed the smell of a roast chicken dinner the family had eaten earlier in the day lured the fox into the house.

But Mr Brown branded Islington council's response to the fox attack "appalling". He said the fox's lair was in the garden of a council-managed house next door, which had not been cleared for five years and resembled "a jungle".

He said: "We have a dangerous animal living next door. I phoned the pest control department and their response was to send me a leaflet."

Mr Brown said he was considering buying a chemical to spray in his garden to deter foxes.

But Islington council said it now planned to clear the garden and take advice on how to deal with urban foxes.

Councillor Jyoti Vaja said: "I was shocked to hear what had happened and wish the girl well."

2003 Associated New Media

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