A three-year-old boy mauled to death by dog suffered head and neck injuries, an inquest opening was told. ‘Happy and kind’ Daniel John Twigg was attacked by a dog outside a property on Carr Lane in Milnrow, Rochdale, on Sunday afternoon (May 15).
The youngster was rushed to hospital, where he sadly died a short time later. Police arrested a 48-year-old man under the Dangerous Dogs Act in connection with the incident. He has been released on bail.
Today (Friday) more details about the incident emerged at a pre-inquest hearing into the tragedy, including that Greater Manchester Police have seized 10 dogs as a result of their continuing ‘significant’ investigation.
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At the brief hearing at Rochdale Coroners’ Court, police coroners’ officer Tracy Bunn confirmed to senior north Manchester Coroner Joanne Kearsley Daniel’s date of birth and home address in Blackley, Manchester. He died at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital on May 15, the court heard.
Daniel’s father, Mark Anthony Twigg, 40, works as a gardener and his mother Joanne Tracie Bedford, 34, was a ‘homemaker’, the officer told the court.
Police were called to Carr Farm on Carr Lane in Milnrow, Rochdale, at 3.22pm to a report of a dog attack, which had left a child victim ‘unconscious and not breathing’, said Ms Bunn. Police attended but the boy was ‘in cardiac arrest’ and he was taken to the children’s hospital, the court was told.
“He sadly passed away later that day,” said the officer. A police investigation led by Det Chf Insp Gina Brennand, of the Major Incident Team of GMP, was ‘ongoing’.
A Cane Corso dog was destroyed at the scene and ten other dogs were seized by police. None of the animals were banned breeds, the hearing was told.
The officer confirmed one male suspect has been arrested under the Dangerous Dogs Act. His name was not disclosed.
The court was told the provisional conclusion of a post-mortem examination carried out by a Home Office pathologist was that Daniel had died of ‘head and neck injuries caused by a dog attack’.
The ‘extensive’ police investigation was continuing although the force had referred itself to the police watchdog, the Independent Officer for Police Conduct. The force has previously confirmed this referral had been because of ‘previous contact’.
The hearing was also told a ‘safeguarding review’ may also be undertaken by Rochdale Children’s Services.
No members of the family were present during the hearing, but senior coroner Ms Kearsley offered her condolences and also expressed sympathy for the ‘harrowing’ scene which had confronted the emergency services.
“At this stage there remain a criminal investigation and I’m not going to set a date for the final inquest,” said Ms Kearsley. The hearing was added and a further pre-inquest review has been scheduled for September 1.
In a heartbreaking tribute to the youngster, his family described him as their ‘happy little boy’. They said: “Daniel was a happy, kind and caring little boy who was loved by all who knew him.
“He loved Paw Patrol and playing with his brother and sister, he also loved being around animals – especially his pony, Splash. He brought us many laughs and was a comical character.
“He was brave, intelligent and full of many characteristics. Daniel loved being with his whole family and will be missed by all. On behalf of our family, we ask people to respect our privacy.”
Detective Chief Inspector Dave Jones, of GMP’s Professional Standards Branch, has said: “We are aware of a number of incidents of note which preceded the death of three-year-old Daniel Twigg. As per the Independent Office for Police Conduct’s Statutory Guidance, we have made a referral to the IOPC and are awaiting a decision from their analysts, which will determine how this investigation is progressed.
“GMP is committed to delivering outstanding service which keeps people safe and cares for victims. Professional analysis of our actions is key to achieving this so we ask members of the public and the media to refrain from speculating at this time.”
An IOPC spokesperson said: “First and foremost our thoughts go out to the family and friends of three-year-old Daniel Twigg who has tragically died. We have received a referral from Greater Manchester Police indicating previous reports of a dog bite and concerns for animal welfare on Carr Lane, Milnrow. On 18 May we began an independent investigation which is ongoing.”