Tyne & Wear

Inquest hears of 'failure of care' over dog bite death

Reggie Young Image copyright Family Handout
Image caption Reggie Young was attacked at the family home in Falkland Road in June 2015

A coroner has spoken of the "gross failure" of care and protection afforded to a three-week-old baby who was killed by the family dog.

Reggie Young was mauled by the terrier-cross as his father, Ryan Young, slept on a sofa at their Sunderland home having drunk eight cans of lager.

The 32-year-old was later jailed for 21 months after pleading guilty to being in charge of a dangerous dog.

An inquest into the death has recorded a narrative verdict.

The hearing in Sunderland was told the 20-day-old child was attacked for up to 20 minutes at the family home in Falkland Road on the evening of 20 June 2015.

Throughout, his father was lying asleep on the sofa next to him but did not wake up until Reggie's mother Maria Blacklin returned home at 04:00 BST after a family gathering.

She found her gravely injured baby lying in a pool of blood and it was her screams that eventually woke Young up.

Assistant Coroner Karen Welch said: "Reggie was a vulnerable infant entirely dependent on the adults in his life to protect him from significant harm, provide care and a safe environment.

"There was a gross failure to provide this in the early hours of 20 June, resulting in Reggie's death."

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