When she returned to check on her son, she found that the 45 kg dog, an American bulldog crossed with a Staffordshire bull terrier, had attacked him, leaving him with more than 50 bite marks. Frankie died of blood loss.
Willis, 31, of Plymouth, acknowledged child neglect. Her friend Sadie Totterdell, 29, also from Plymouth, was jailed for three years after admitting to owning a dangerously out of control dog.
The tragedy took place at Tencreek Holiday Park in Looe, Cornwall, on April 12.
Willis and Totterdell joined friends in another trailer, leaving Frankie alone with the dog, Winston.
The court heard that Frankie had come to the caravan where the adults were partying around 2 am, saying he was hungry.
His mother took him back to the caravan and left the boy and the dog alone while she returned to the party.
At around 4:30 a.m., Willis went to see Frankie and found him lifeless. The boy’s PlayStation was still on, and the court heard that Frankie may have raised his voice during a game, leading Winston to attack him.
Judge Simon Carr said, “Winston was an extremely powerful dog and – as you can see from what has happened – potentially dangerous. However, it was decided to leave Winston and Frankie alone in this caravan. ”
The judge told Totterdell that incidents in the past, including when Winston had bitten a child in need of medical treatment, should have reinforced the fact that he could be dangerous and serve as a “red flag”.
Continuing, Simon Laws QC said that some of the adults at the party had taken cocaine and cannabis, as well as alcohol.
A post mortem examination revealed that Frankie had suffered 54 injuries, including bite marks, puncture wounds, lacerations, bruises, scratches and streak marks.
In a statement, other members of Frankie’s family said they could never forgive Totterdell and Willis for leaving the boy alone with Winston.
They said, “Frankie was left alone to die in the most horrible way, beyond anyone’s imagination. Frankie was a special young boy. He was funny, caring and kind – his smile would melt your heart. He was always joking and he loved everyone. The impact of our boy’s death on us is enormous. We are really heartbroken. “