Page last updated at 14:26 GMT, Friday, 22 August 2008 15:26 UK

Baby death dog 'had no exercise'

Archie-Lee Hirst
Archie-Lee Hirst died in hospital from multiple injuries

A Rottweiler which mauled its owners' 13-month-old grandson to death had been kept in a yard and not walked for five months, an inquest has heard.

Archie-Lee Hirst was attacked by the dog at his grandparents' home in Wakefield on 28 December.

Recording a verdict of accidental death coroner David Hinchliff called for "stricter controls" on the breeding and sale of dangerous dogs.

Wakefield Coroner's Court heard Archie-Lee died from multiple injuries.

His aunt, 16, who was babysitting the youngster and her two younger sisters aged six and seven, tried to fight off the dog.

The seven-year-old had been carrying Archie-Lee when the dog snatched him out of her hands.

Once the dog had the child, she was not going to give up what she regarded as her prize
Coroner David Hinchliff

The two-and-a-half-year-old female Rottweiler was later killed by police.

Mike Mullen, a canine consultant, said the Rottweiler did not have enough "mental stimulation" in the back yard where she was kept.

Mr Mullen believed the animal would have viewed Archie-Lee as an object being given to his seven-year-old aunt.

Mr Hinchliff told the court that no blame should be placed on Archie-Lee's aunt, who did all she could.

"Once the dog had the child, she was not going to give up what she regarded as her prize," he said.

"Whatever efforts there might have been to retrieve Archie would have been in vain."

Unregistered breeder

Mr Hinchliff added: "I would like to see if the law in this country can become such that there are stricter controls, particularly on dangerous dogs, so that their breeding and distribution can be controlled more stringently than is the case at the moment."

At Archie-Lee's funeral in January, mourners released dozens of pale blue balloons in tribute to him.

The mourners were led by his young parents, Rebecca Hirst, then 18, and Damian Williamson, 20.

Also in January, West Yorkshire Police said no charges would be brought over the death, as there was insufficient evidence to secure a criminal conviction.

The inquest was told how Archie-Lee's grandparents had bought the animal about six months before the fatal attack from a person they knew in a pub.

The dog had come as a puppy from an unregistered breeder.

Funeral of dog attack baby held
14 Jan 08 |  Bradford
Toddler death dog to be examined
02 Jan 08 |  Bradford
Police probe dog attack on baby
31 Dec 07 |  West Yorkshire
Dog death baby was 'little angel'
30 Dec 07 |  West Yorkshire
Family dog kills one-year-old boy
29 Dec 07 |  West Yorkshire

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific