UK & World News

  • 12 February 2014, 13:55

Baby Killed By Dog Was 'Beautiful Little Girl'

A woman and her partner arrested after her baby girl was mauled to death by a banned dog have been released on bail.

Eleven-month-old Ava-Jayne Corless was asleep in bed upstairs at a house in Blackburn when she was attacked by the pit bull terrier, reportedly called Killer.

Chloe King, 20, and 26-year-old Lee Wright were said to be downstairs at the time of the "horrific" incident, at around 11pm on Monday.

Police and ambulance staff tried to resuscitate Ava-Jayne at the property in Emily Street but she was pronounced dead at Royal Blackburn Hospital a short while later.

Chief Superintendent Chris Bithell of Lancashire Police said the suspects were initially arrested on child neglect charges.

They were then re-arrested on the more serious charge of manslaughter.

"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," Mr Bithell said.

Police confirmed the dog, which has been destroyed, was a breed prohibited under Section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

Neighbours claim to have made previous complaints to police about the animal's behaviour.

Mr Bithell added: "As part of the investigation we are making inquiries to see whether there have been previous issues with this particular dog and I think at this moment it would be too early to speculate on that."

Ava-Jayne's father, named as Dean Corless, 24, described his daughter as "the most beautiful and adorable little girl".

"She was just the best. She was my whole world. Her mum and I aren't together any more, but I saw Ava-Jayne all the time," he told the Daily Mirror.

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

Writing on Facebook, his sister, Shannon Corless, said: "She is a beautiful little girl, she was only 11 month and didn't deserve to be took away so soon.

"You know what they say god only takes the best, you really didn't deserve to go. I love you loads princess. You're with the angels now princess. Auntie Shannon loves you loads."

The girl's grandmother, Bernadette Corless, 51, added: "I just can't believe it, it's such a shock.

"She was so young, it is so unfair for a baby to be taken away. She was just beautiful, like a china doll. She was a lively baby and was always happy."

A post-mortem examination is expected to take place to determine Ava's exact cause of death. Nobody else was injured during the attack.

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