Developing

'Devastating' Loss Of Baby Boy Bitten By Dog

The family of a baby boy who died after being bitten by a dog in Shropshire say they have been left "absolutely devastated" by the infant's death.

Harry Harper died in hospital on Tuesday morning after paramedics were called out to a house in Woodside Road in Ketley, near Telford.

He had reportedly been with his mother at his grandparents' house when he was attacked by the family-owned dog.

In a statement, the family said: "We are absolutely devastated by Harry's death and have no words to describe the loss we have suffered.

"At the present time, we have no wish to speak publicly about yesterday's events and would ask that we are left in peace to grieve and begin to deal with our loss."

Initial indications suggested Harry, who was just eight days old, died after being bitten by the Jack Russell.

Police emphasised that Harry was not mauled by the animal, which has now been put down.

West Mercia Police are continuing to investigate the precise circumstances of the newborn's death as they await the result of a post-mortem examination.

Detective Chief Inspector Neil Jamieson said: "Our investigation is ongoing but it appears that the baby died as a result of a dog bite.

"The dog in question was a family pet - a Jack Russell - and this animal has been put down.

"A post-mortem will be taking place to establish the exact cause of this baby's death but at this stage it does appear to be a tragic accident.

"With an investigation ongoing, there is no further comment I can make on this matter apart from to say that all our thoughts are with the family of the baby at this extremely sad time."

The emergency services were called to the house just before 8am and Harry was taken to Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.

Efforts to save him were made by the ambulance crew at the scene and on the way to the hospital.

Residents in the local area were reluctant to speak to the media about the tragedy, which is reported to have happened at the home of his mother's parents.

One neighbour, who declined to give her name, said: "It's very, very sad.

"Losing a baby must be heart-breaking however it happens and they need to be left to grieve."