Arrested owner of dog which mauled friend's son, 9, to death at caravan park is 'distraught' over tragedy, reveals mum

A DOG owner whose bulldog mauled a friend's nine-year-old son to death on a caravan holiday has been left 'distraught' by the tragedy, her family say.

Sadie Totterdell, 28, was arrested at Dockyard train station in Plymouth on Saturday following the death of Frankie MacRitchie 22 miles away in Looe, Cornwall.

It is understood Frankie had been left alone with the bulldog until 4am while on holiday with his mum Tawnee Willis, 28.

Pals Sadie and single mum Tawnee are believed to have gone for drinks with a male friend at Tencreek Holiday Park.

Sadie found the bloodbath scene when she returned to her caravan about 4am on Saturday, sources said.

The nail technician alerted Tawnee, who was then heard shrieking: “The dog’s attacked my boy”.

Sadie was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and having a dog dangerously out of control and the dog was taken to police kennels where its fate will be decided.

Sadie is not good at all. It is just tragic.

Speaking at the family home in Plymouth this afternoon, Sadie's mum Denise, 58, said her daughter has been left 'distraught'.

She said: "Sadie is not good at all. It is just tragic.

"It is still too raw we are all trying to still just process it, especially for the family as well.

"It is just so, so sad."

Dogs could be heard barking inside the property as Denise spoke to our reporter.

Eye-witness Ashleigh Toms, 19, said she saw Sadie with a blood-covered dog near the caravan park about an hour after Frankie's body was discovered.

Ashleigh claims she bought her a ticket to travel back to Plymouth after she told her she had been attacked.


Frankie's dad Billy MacRitchie, who wasn't on the holiday, shared a heartbreaking tribute to his son in which he said his 'world has shattered into a million pieces'.

A post, penned by his sister Danielle and posted on Billy's Facebook page, said: "I spoke to my brother today and he asked me to write a few words.

"My baby Frankie Gray MacRitchie, my whole world has shattered into a million pieces. Daddy is so lost without you little man I really don't know how I'm ever gonna live without you.

"This should never have happened I wish I could hold you and kiss you forever. You are my whole life and now your (sic) gone.

"Sleep tight my darling boy, my best friend my everything."

This should never have happened I wish I could hold you and kiss you forever

During a televised live press conference, Mike West, Detective Superintendent from the D&C Major Crime Investigation Team, said: "We believe that Frankie was alone in a caravan with the dog as he was attacked, whilst that the adults that he was on holiday with, were in an adjacent unit.

"These two groups of people were all known to each other and all from the Plymouth area.

"The woman that we arrested in connection to this matter has been released under investigation and the dog remains in kennels."

Henry Joce, of Tencreek Holiday Park, said: "It is with profound sadness that Tencreek Holiday Park management can confirm that emergency services were called to an incident in a static caravan just before 5am on Saturday April 13.

"Tragically, a 10-year-old child was pronounced deceased at the scene after being attacked by a dog present in the same caravan.

"Clearly our thoughts are very much with the family involved – they have our deepest sympathies."

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