Baby boy mauled to death by parents' Staffordshire Bull Terrier suffered 'catastrophic' brain and internal injuries

Reuben McNulty was attacked at his home in Yaxley, near Peterborough, in the early hours of November 18 last year and admitted to hospital the same day.

The infant had spent weeks fighting for life at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge but died on December 13.

David Heming, Cambridgeshire's senior coroner, said Reuben "suffered catastrophic injuries…as a result of being attacked by his parents' Staffordshire bull terrier at their home address".

He said Reuben sustained a traumatic brain injury, with complications of renal failure and gastrointestinal failure.

"All these injuries are consistent with a dog attack," he said.

He added: "The events surrounding the tragic death of Reuben are clearly devastating for his parents and I would like to express my condolences and extend my sympathies towards them."


He opened the hearing in Huntingdon today and adjourned it for a full inquest on May 16 this year.

Paramedics were called to the family home in Yaxley and Reuben was taken to Peterborough City Hospital with severe head injuries and later transferred to Addenbrooke's.

His parents, Daniel McNulty and Amy Litchfield, are believed to have been questioned by police and released pending further inquiries.


Police said in a statement in December that two Staffordshire bull terriers, named Fizzy and Dotty, had been destroyed.

It added: "A 28-year-old woman and a 31-year-old man, both from Yaxley, who were arrested on suspicion of child neglect, have been released under investigation.

"The death is not being treated as suspicious and has been handed to the coroner."

Recent dog attacks in the UK

November 2016 – Aiden Noel, 19, had part of his nose ripped off by a Jack Russell Terrier.

August 2016 – A three-year-old boy died after an American bulldog savaged him. Owner Jade Dunne, 29, got 12 months’ jail suspended for two years.

April 2017 – A girl, 10 was tossed around "like a rag doll" for ten minutes by an out-of-control dog.

April 2017 – A one-year-old was "scalped" by a dog in Chatham which was later shot dead.

May 2017 – A two-year-old girl was savaged by an “XXL” American Bully Dog.

June 2017 – A young girl suffered facial injuries after she was bitten by a husky.

November 2017 – A couple's pet Beagle was mauled to death by two vicious Mastiff-type dogs when it was let off its lead in a park.

December 2017 – A dog owner was jailed for four years after her Staffie mauled 12 kids in a playground in Northumberland in May 2016.

February 2018 – A man whose bull terrier attacked and killed his neighbour was jailed for 10 years. The owner had ignored a court order requiring his dog be muzzled, neutered and kept on a lead in public.



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