A banned breed of dog was behind the attack on a six month old girl in Daventry, police have revealed.
Police were called to the three bedroom house on the Timken estate at around 10.30pm on Friday, October 3, following reports of a baby being attacked by a dog.
East Midlands Ambulance Service sent out three fast response clinicians, a double crewed ambulance and doctor. The baby was treated at the scene, but died at Northampton General Hospital from her injuries.
The dog was ‘humanely destroyed’ at the house by a local vet. The Royal Veterinary College then carried out a forensic post mortem on the dog.
At a press conference today (Friday), Chief Inspector Tom Thompson, district commander for Daventry: said: “Northamptonshire Police is today in a position to name the breed of the dog involved in attacking a six-month-old baby girl who tragically died in Daventry on the night of Friday, October 3, 2014.
“The baby girl was confirmed dead shortly after the attack at her mother’s home in Morning Star Road on the Timken estate.
“At the time of the attack, she was being cared for by her maternal grandmother who suffered bite injuries attempting to protect the baby.
“The dog was destroyed by vets at the scene.
“Subsequently a post-mortem was carried out at the Royal Veterinary College with the assistance of dog legislation officers from this Force and elsewhere. This was done to determine the breed of the dog responsible for the fatal attack.
“We can today reveal the outcome of that post mortem has shown the dog was an American pit bull, a prohibited breed under the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act.
This continues to be a complex and highly unusual investigation which has required significant resource within Force and drawn on national expertise in the area of dangerous dogs.
“But at the heart of it is a baby girl whose life has tragically been taken away in the most horrific of circumstances.
“In addition to our ongoing investigation, we have been concentrating our efforts on providing support for a grieving family who have been left devastated by this.
“Daventry itself is a very small and peaceful town and the community has undoubtedly been deeply affected by what happened last Friday. Incidents such as these are, thankfully, extremely rare in this country.
“Community leaders have reflected their sense of shock this week while Northamptonshire Police has been getting on with the investigation in hand.
“The Force would like publicly to thank everyone who attended in whatever capacity for the professionalism shown and the efforts made to save the baby girl’s life.
“An inquest will be formally opened by the Northamptonshire Coroner on Wednesday, October 15.
“The case has also been referred to the LSCBN Serious Case Review Committee in November which will then consider it for independent scrutiny by the Local Safeguarding Children Board Northamptonshire.
When asked how staff responding to the incident had been affected, Chief Inspector Tom Thompson said: “There is ongoing welfare provision at the time in the very near future for the team and everyone else who attended.”
Northamptonshire Police have released a statement on behalf on the family: “The family wish to say at this point that we are totally devastated and in complete shock the tragic loss of our little princess and ask we be left alone to grieve at this difficult time and a full statement will be given in due course.”