Newborn mauled to death after massive family dog jumps pen, parents arrested on gross negligence manslaughter
Police in South Yorkshire have arrested a 35-year-old man and a woman, 27, on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter after their newborn was fatally attacked by a dog. The 12-day-old Elon suffered "serious injuries" after the animal, believed to be a crossbreed, jumped out its garden pen, and bit the baby at a house in Welfare Road, Doncaster, on Sunday, September 13. The dog’s name has been revealed as Teddy.
The infant was soon rushed to a local hospital, but due to the severity of the wounds, he could not survive. The two suspects, identified as Abigail Ellis and her fiancé Stephen Joynes, were given bail while police continued to investigate the case, the Daily Mail reported. A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: "Police were called to an address on Welfare Road at around 3.30 pm on Sunday following reports that a dog had attacked a child. On arrival at the property, emergency services discovered a 12-day-old baby boy had been bitten by a dog and suffered serious injuries. The child was taken to hospital, but sadly died a short time later.”
Ellis’ brother Keith said: “She has been through so much, she needs time to grieve. She has lost her dad, her partner and now her son in that house. The dog wasn't in the house at the time, it was being kept in a pen in the garden. He was such a big fluffy dog, he was like a teddy bear. His name was even Teddy. You just wouldn't expect it to do anything like that. He's a big soft dog.”
It was reported that the father of the woman’s three kids died one and a half years ago from sepsis. One of the neighbors said, “She was a brilliant mum but her whole life fell apart when he died. She lost everything." Another added: “It is heartbreaking, it's a tragedy upon a tragedy". “This was a tragic accident. RIP little man fly high with the angels,” said a third person, as reported by The Sun.
A family friend, identified as Louise Scott, posted a message on Facebook that read: “Absolutely devastating news. Two parents have just lost a child and three other children a brother in such terrible circumstances. Sleep tight little man." While another friend said, “Abi was a great mum, they never had much money but those kids never went without. Her older children were so well behaved. I knew she was pregnant again but I didn't know she had the baby until I heard all the commotion on Sunday evening and found out that he had tragically died. She always did her best by her other children and losing her partner hit her hard. It really affected her, they were so happy together and so close. It is such a tragedy.”
Though it was not immediately clear if the dog was euthanized or not, a local said that they saw police personnel removing the animal from the property. “I drove by as the police were removing the dog. It was a big fluffy golden thing. It didn’t look like a dangerous breed. But police were struggling to get it into the dog van. It was strong enough to be dragging three officers into the road,” Sally Hooley mentioned.