Newborn baby boy was mauled to death by his parents’ dog, inquest told

Newborn baby boy who was mauled to death by his parents’ Staffordshire Bull Terrier died of ‘catastrophic’ head injuries, inquest told

  • Police seized the two dogs after Reuben McNulty was attacked on November 18
  • He died at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge a month later on December 13 
  • Parents arrested on suspicion of child neglect then released under investigation 

Reuben McNulty died in hospital after a dog attack at his home a month earlier

A baby boy who was attacked at his home by his parents’ Staffordshire bull terrier died in hospital of ‘catastrophic injuries’, an inquest heard today.

Reuben McNulty was just five weeks old when he died at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge on December 13 last year.

He was attacked at his home in Yaxley, Cambridgeshire, in the early hours of November 18 and admitted to hospital the same day.

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.’

The dogs, named Fizzy and Dotty, were destroyed following the attack in Cambridgeshire 

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

The dogs, named Fizzy and Dotty, were seized by police and destroyed. A man and woman were arrested on suspicion of child neglect over the incident in Yaxley.

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The pair – named locally as the boy’s parents Dan McNulty, 31, and Amy Litchfield, 28, – were released under investigation.

The baby, believed to be just a few weeks old at the time, was taken to Peterborough City Hospital.

Reuben’s parents Amy Litchfield and Dan McNulty were arrested on suspicion of child neglect before being released under investigation

The newborn was then transferred to Addenbrooke’s Hospital where he remained in a critical condition.

Following the incident, a man at the couple’s flat who did not want to be identified, said: ‘They’re in bits, they’re devastated.’

Miss Litchfield’s father Peter said the baby was hurt in a ‘freak accident’ and insisted the pair, who are both unemployed, were good parents.

‘They’ve done nothing wrong and the way it’s being portrayed at the minute, they’re horrible parents,’ he said. 

The incident unfolded in November at the family’s home in Yaxley, Cambridgeshire, pictured

‘They bloody aren’t, they’ve been fantastic. People need to realise there’s always two sides to the story.’ 

A man who lives opposite the couple’s flat claimed he told them to ‘be careful’ around the dogs after Reuben was born.

The man, who did not want to be named, said: ‘He [Dan] was showing people his new baby because he was so proud of it.

‘When he showed me the pictures, I said be careful because those dogs might not be used to the baby. I know what dogs are like when they get jealous.

‘He said I will do. He said, ‘Me and Amy were thinking about that anyway’. I can’t work out what happened.’ 

A social media post by a relative of the family in the week that little Reuben died in hospital

Another neighbour described the dogs as ‘vicious’. The man said: ‘I have seen those dogs before and they are vicious and will show their teeth at anyone.’ 

He told how he was woken by police sirens in the early hours of Sunday, November 18. 

‘I was woken in the middle of the night to sirens and bright lights and I was worried,’he said.

‘I went outside and there were seven police vehicles, two police vans an ambulance and the paramedics. The police brought a man and a woman out of the house in handcuffs.

‘Straight away the ambulance left the house with a police escort. I knew then that someone must be very badly hurt.’

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