‘Beautiful’ tot killed at home by ‘bull terrier’ family bought just a week ago

TRIBUTES have poured in for a “beautiful” baby girl who was killed by an “out-of-control bull terrier” bought by her family a week ago.

The 17-month-old tot was savaged in St Helens, Merseyside, at around 3.50pm on Monday afternoon.

The tot sustained fatal injuries when the dog attacked her on Monday afternoon


The tot sustained fatal injuries when the dog attacked her on Monday afternoonCredit: Mercury The 17-month-old tot was savaged in St Helens, Merseyside, at around 3.50pm on Monday afternoon


The 17-month-old tot was savaged in St Helens, Merseyside, at around 3.50pm on Monday afternoonCredit: Mercury

Emergency services rushed the toddler to hospital where she sadly died of her horrific injuries.

Her family are said to be “devastated” by her death and had only purchased the dog just a week ago, police announced.

Cops are now working to find the previous owner and establish its history.

Neighbour Joanne Matthews, 53, said: “She was such a beautiful little girl, toddling about.

“I’d see the family in passing, just to say hello, and they were always very pleasant.”

Ms Matthews said she saw an ambulance outside the house in Bidston Avenue at about 3.50pm on Monday and then about 10 police vehicles arrive.

She said: “I saw them bring the dog out. I couldn’t tell what breed it was but from the back it looked like a Staffordshire bull terrier or pit bull.”

The animal was taken by Merseyside Police and humanely destroyed, the force said in a statement.

Further forensic examinations will take place to determine the breed of dog and whether it is, or isn’t a legal breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act (1991).

Another neighbour, who did not want to be named, said she got home from the shops at about 4.30pm, when the area was busy with police.

She said: “The mum was on the field at the front of the house crying. She was hysterical.

“It is usually very quiet here and safe for children, but when you hear something like this has happened it is so distressing.”

One resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “They were a lovely family, and it’s just devastating what has happened.

“The dog had a stocky build, it was a Staffordshire terrier or Pitbull, and it was fully grown. There was only one.

“It’s devastating. This is a normal quiet street, and the children would play in the street. The little girl, a toddler, was always about.

“I don’t remember seeing anything at all until the ambulance arrived.

“They were a very pleasant family, with two kids.”

Officers remained at the scene yesterday evening as they continued their investigation into the devastating incident.


Detective Inspector Lisa Milligan said: “This is a tragic incident and our thoughts are with the child’s family at this devastating time.

“The little girl’s parents and wider family are absolutely devastated and our specialist Family Liaison Officers are providing them with support at this horrendous time.

“Whilst we are in the very early stages of the investigation into this extremely tragic incident we can confirm that the dog was only bought by the family a week ago and officers are working to identify the previous owners of the dog concerned and establish its history.

“Our officers will remain on Bidston Avenue this evening and in the coming days to provide reassurance to the local community and we will work tirelessly to establish the full circumstances.

“If you were in the Bidston Avenue area this afternoon and witnessed anything, or have any information about the dog in question then please come forward speak to one of our officers.

“Our officers take the issue of dangerous dogs very seriously.

“Over the past years we have worked proactively with the five local authorities in Merseyside to ensure prohibited dogs are taken off the streets.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police via the social media desk @MerPolCC or ‘Merseyside Police Contact Centre’ on Facebook, with reference 22000196837.


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