Baby suffered 'catastrophic injuries' in dog attack, inquest hears

'The events surrounding the tragic death of Reuben are clearly devastating for his parents'

Chiara Giordano
Monday 07 January 2019 14:16
Police statement after 19-year old woman arrested for allegedly biting another woman in the arm during dog walk

A baby boy who was attacked by his parents’ Staffordshire bull terrier died of “catastrophic injuries”, an inquest has heard.

Reuben McNulty was just two weeks old when he was attacked by one of his family’s two dogs at their home in Yaxley, Cambridgeshire, in the early hours of 18 November last year.

He was admitted to hospital that same day but died at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge on 13 December aged five weeks.

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

He said Reuben suffered 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.”

Mr Heming opened the hearing in Huntingdon on Monday and adjourned it for a full inquest on 16 May this year.

Paramedics were called to the family home in Wykes Road, Yaxley, and Reuben was taken to Peterborough City Hospital with severe head injuries but 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 had been destroyed.

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

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.”

Additional reporting by Press Association

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in