THE owner of a dangerous dog that killed his 18-month-old niece has flouted an order banning him from keeping the pets for a third time.

Urfan Ahmed's dog savaged toddler Zumer at the family home in Cotton Walk, Broadfield, Crawley, in 2010.

He was banned from keeping the animals and the killer American pitbull, Game, was put down.

Despite this he breached the banning order in 2011 and 2012 before being found with dogs yet again on September 14 last year.

The 38-year-old spray painter was caught breaching the court order, which lasts until 2023, during a routine security check in a road around the perimeter of Gatwick Airport.

He was with his partner, 49-year-old Linda Hood of Davis Close, Crawley. Six dogs were seized at the time.

When he appeared at Horsham Magistrates' Court last Thursday, he was handed a fine but escaped a lifetime ban despite magistrates previously warning this would happen if he returned to court.

Ms Hood appeared at the same hearing, charged with aiding and abetting the breach of a disqualification imposed after Ahmed's conviction.

However, at court her prosecution was discontinued and the six dogs were returned to her.

Ahmed, now of Burdock Close, Crawley, initially pleaded not guilty but changed his plea to guilty ahead of the hearing.

He was given a fine of £785, a victim surcharge of £75 and costs of £1,500.

On April 17, 2010, Zumer was in the family home with her mother, grandmother, her three-year-old sister and another child, aged five, when the dogs ran into the kitchen and attacked her. Builders working nearby heard screams coming from the property and prized Zumer from the dog’s jaws.

She was rushed to East Surrey Hospital in Redhill but was pronounced dead on arrival.

Ahmed was not charged over the death of his niece. When he was given the initial ban in July 2010 he said, although Zumer’s death had left him and the family devastated, his “life would be over” if his dogs were taken away. Zumer's father, Nazir Ahmed, said at the time he had forgiven his brother.

While Game was not an illegal breed, when police investigated the death they found he also owned a Dogo Argentino, an illegal breed.

He has also in the past been found with a Staffordshire bull terrier, a cane corso, a presa canario, a Neapolitan mastiff and a South African boerbel.

Ahmed's dog ban was increased from five to ten years during his last appearance at court in November 2013.