Baby mauled to death by her mother’s dog: Couple arrested after child was savaged by their pit bull-type pet

I love dogs. I really do. Incidentally I happen to love cats too. I have been told that fundamentally impossible. You cant be a dog and cat person. What can I say. I am.

I have not kept any for years due to a hectic schedule that keeps me frequently on the road but I would certainly love to. One thing I won’t do and never urge any parent to, is encourage a “friendship” between an infant and any pet. For one thing, the pet is first of all an animal which functions primarily on instinct and is unable to communicate as effectively as humans. Bottom-line your dog, cat, pet snake e.t.c can’t verbalise stuff. For another thing I have seen babies get really rough with pets many of whom remain uncannily patient with babies even when being hurt.

But every now and then, a pet snaps.

I really hate to think the parents are suspects right now because I can only imagine the pain they must be going through especially if they are truly innocent. See how lovely this baby is. It horrifies me the agonizing death she had to bear at the hands (teeth?) of a dog.

May her beautiful soul rest in peace, and parents, please be careful with pets around babies.

 

  • 11-month-old Ava-Jayne Corless attacked  by pet late last night
  • Neighbours report seeing ‘vicious and  terrifying’ pit bull type dog
  • Victim’s mother and stepfather arrested  on suspicion of manslaughter
  • Baby’s father pays tribute to ‘the most  beautiful and adorable little girl’
  • Lancashire Police say dog involved in the  attack was a banned breed

By Hugo Gye

The father of a baby girl who was mauled to  death by a pet dog today paid tribute to his ‘beautiful little  girl’.

Ava-Jayne Corless, aged 11 months, was rushed  to hospital at around 11pm yesterday after she was attacked by a pit bull while  in bed at her stepfather’s home in Blackburn, Lancashire.

Police officers and paramedics attempted to  revive her but she was pronounced dead at the Royal Blackburn  Hospital.

Victim: Ava-Jayne Corless, aged 11 months, has been mauled to death by a pet dog

Victim: Ava-Jayne Corless, aged 11 months, has been  mauled to death by a pet dog
Parent: Ava-Jayne with her mother Chloe King, who has been arrested over the girl's death

Parent: Ava-Jayne with her mother Chloe King, who has  been arrested over the girl’s death
Parents: Ava-Jayne pictured with her father Dean and mother Chloe, who are no longer together

Parents: Ava-Jayne pictured with her father Dean and  mother Chloe, who are no longer together

The victim’s mother and stepfather,  who were  downstairs at the time of the attack, have been arrested on  suspicion of  manslaughter.

The exact breed of the pet – which has now  been destroyed – is not known,  but police believe that it was a pitbull  terrier-type dog, which is a prohibited breed.

Lancashire Police say they dog involved in  the attack was banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act  1991.

 Ava-Jayne’s father Dean Corless today  revealed his grief at hearing of the attack,  saying: ‘I am absolutely  devastated after what has happened. I found out late last night and rushed to  the hospital to see her straight away.’

The 24-year-old added: ‘She was the most  beautiful and adorable little girl, she was just the best. She was my whole  world.

‘I will miss her every single day, I just  don’t know what to do now. It is just so tragic. I have my family around me now,  but we are all  devastated.’

Beautiful: Friends and relatives described Ava-Jayne as an 'angel' as they expressed their grief

Beautiful: Friends and relatives described Ava-Jayne as  an ‘angel’ as they expressed their grief
Asleep: The youngster pictured in a professional photoshoot later uploaded to the internet

Asleep: The youngster pictured in a professional  photoshoot later uploaded to the internet
Baby: Ava-Jayne with her mother Chloe - who has now been arrested - and grandmother Clair

Baby: Ava-Jayne with her mother Chloe – who has now been  arrested – and grandmother Clair

Grandmother Bernadette Corless added: ‘She  was so young, it is so unfair for a baby to be taken away at that  age.

‘She was just beautiful – like a china doll.  She was a lively baby and was always happy.’

Mr Corless said that he dated Ava-Jayne’s  mother, Chloe King, for four years before the pair split up last  summer.

Ms King, 20, and her new boyfriend  Lee  Wright, 26, were arrested in the wake of the girl’s death and  questioned on  suspicion of child neglect, before being re-arrested on  suspicion of  manslaughter.

A post-mortem will take place to find out the  exact cause of death.

Arrest: The victim's stepfather Lee Wright is being questioned by police on suspicion of manslaughter
Arrest: The victim’s stepfather Lee Wright is being  questioned by police on suspicion of manslaughter
Family: Dean Corless, right, paid tribute to his daughter after her mother, left, was arrested along with her new boyfriend Lee Wright

Family: Dean Corless, right, paid tribute to his  daughter after her mother, left, was arrested along with her new boyfriend Lee  Wright

Chief Superintendent Chris Bithell said:  ‘This is an absolutely horrific incident in which a baby girl has lost her life  and I would like to take this opportunity to express my own personal sympathy to  the wider family of baby Ava.

Recounting the details of the attack, he  added: ‘The baby was upstairs in a bed in one of the front bedrooms and the two  people who are currently in custody, they were downstairs when the attack took  place.

‘The dog is believed to be an American pit  bull type, it has been destroyed and tests will be carried out today to  establish the exact breed of the dog and inquiries into the history of the  animal.’

Police are investigating claims that  neighbours have previously complained about dangerous dogs living at the  house.

Local residents reported seeing police  struggle to enter the house on Emily Street as the cross-breed dog raged out of  control.

A specialist team later managed to detain the  animal and took it away as part of the investigation before destroying  it.

'Beautiful and adorable': Mr Corless described his devastation at learning of his daughter's death

‘Beautiful and adorable’: Mr Corless described his  devastation at learning of his daughter’s death
Touching: Mr Corless spoke of his grief at the death of his daughter, pictured with him as a newborn

Touching: Mr Corless spoke of his grief at the death of  his daughter, pictured with him as a newborn
Holiday: Ava-Jayne with her mother playing on the beach in a family photo uploaded to Facebook

Holiday: Ava-Jayne with her mother playing on the beach  in a family photo uploaded to Facebook

The dog, described by neighbours as ‘vicious  and terrifying’, apparently attacked and  killed a cat in the area last year,  prompting questions as to why it was not brought under control  earlier.

‘That dog is a menace, it was a  nightmare  for neighbours and people were terrified of approaching it in  the street,’ said  next-door neighbour Brian Harrison.

‘Such a small girl against the dog is an  unfair battle. It’s an absolute tragedy that should never have  happened –  there’s been plenty of warning signs in the past.

‘Only last year it mauled to death a  neighbour’s cat and nothing was done about it.’

The RSPCA confirmed that it had been called  to the house after the death of a cat, although it concluded that the incident  was nothing more than an accident.

Mr Harrison added: ‘I’m surprised that such a  tiny baby has been allowed around it, I’m sure there’s days when it’s OK but it  only takes one thing to  trigger it.

Tragic: A child has died after being mauled by a pet dog at a house in Emily Street in Blackburn, pictured

Tragic: A child has died after being mauled by a pet dog  at a house in Emily Street in Blackburn, pictured 
Investigation: Police cordoned off the street after arresting the victim's mother and stepfather

Investigation: Police cordoned off the street after  arresting the victim’s mother and stepfather
'Horrific': Chief Inspector Chris Bithell briefs the media on the progress of the investigation

‘Horrific’: Chief Inspector Chris Bithell briefs the  media on the progress of the investigation

Friends of the family took to Facebook to  express their grief at the little girl’s death.

Catt Allen wrote: ‘RIP Ava-Jayne, heaven has  gained another angel sleep tight beautiful girl xxxx’.

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: ‘The  baby was taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital but sadly passed away a short time  later.

‘Officers are continuing to carry out  enquiries at the scene and investigate the circumstances of what has  happened.’

Detective  Superintendent Simon Giles added:  ‘This is a tragic incident and  specially trained officers are offering support  to the wider family. A  full investigation is underway.’

Danger: The dog was described as a 'menace' before the attack and previously killed a neighbour's cat

Danger: The dog was described as a ‘menace’ before the  attack and previously killed a neighbour’s cat
Attack: The incident took place in a residential area to the north-east of the town centre

Attack: The incident took place in a residential area to  the north-east of the town centre

Local MP Jack Straw delivered a passionate  appeal to drive out the scourge of dangerous dogs which have been responsible  for a string of brutal attacks on children.

‘This is the most awful killing, of an  innocent 11-month-old baby, by an out-of-control and self-evidently dangerous  dog,’ the former Home Secretary told the Lancashire Telegraph.

‘What will it take to convince people not to  keep dogs like this – and to get across to all dog-owners, of every breed of  dog, that no dog should ever be left unsupervised with a baby?’

In the wake of Ava-Jayne’s death, the union  that represents postal workers called for a major crackdown on dangerous dogs in  order to prevent similar incidents in future.

‘This is another tragic loss of life and  demonstrates the out-of-control situation that we have in the UK with  irresponsible dog ownership,’ a spokesman for the CWU said.

‘There have been 23 deaths from dog attacks  in the UK, the majority of which have been young children, and four of these  have occurred since 2005. Worryingly, there has been a sharp increase in recent  years.

‘Dog control laws in England and Wales are  rightly being strengthened later this year. Current arrangements are simply not  good enough and the punishments do not fit the crimes.’

BRITAIN’S TRAGIC HISTORY OF FATAL MAULINGS BY DEVIL  DOGS

Horror: Four-year-old Lexi Branson was killed by a pet dog three months ago

Horror: Four-year-old Lexi Branson was killed by a pet  dog three months ago

In November last year, four-year-old Lexi  Branson was mauled to death by a pet dog despite her mother’s desperate  attempts to halt the attack. Lexi, described as a ‘happy and sweet’ girl, died  after being attacked at a flat in Mountsorrel, Leicestershire. It later emerged  that the dog had been a stray until a couple of months earlier.

In June 2013, a five-year-old boy was  taken to hospital after being mauled by a dog in Co Antrim, Ireland. The attack  happened at Carniny Primary School on the outskirts of Ballymena. It was later  confirmed that the dog was being shown to schoolchildren as a last-day-of-term  treat.

Last May, Clifford Clarke, 79, was  killed in a dog attack in his garden in Liverpool. The retired hospital porter  suffered fatal injuries after being mauled by a bull mastiff cross which was  reported to have found a way into Mr Clarke’s garden from a neighbouring house.  The dogs was shot dead by armed officers and two women were arrested on  suspicion of manslaughter.

Two months earlier, Jade Anderson, 14,  was mauled to death by four dogs while visiting her friend near Wigan. The girl  was discovered by armed police at a friend’s house amid a pack of aggressive  dogs. The animals, who were not banned breeds, were put down. The owner of the  animals was given a suspended 16-week sentence for animal cruelty last  month.

In November 2012, 71-year-old Gloria  Knowles died after being attacked by a pack of dogs belonging to her  daughter that she had gone to feed. The great-grandmother was found dead with  multiple injuries at a house with five dogs in Morden, south  London.

In March 2011, Jude Keir, nine,  suffered severe head injuries when he was mauled by a Staffordshire bull terrier  outside his school in Scotland. The young boy needed 40 stitches and only  survived because two people dragged the dog off him.

In November 2009, four-year-old John-Paul  Massey died after suffering multiple injuries when he was savaged by the  family pet at his grandmother’s home in November 2009. The animal, named Uno,  was an illegal pitbull-type dog belonging to his uncle, who was jailed for four  months

Culled from dailymail.co.uk

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