PARENTS

'Good Natured' Jack Russell Killed Newborn Baby In Cot

14/08/2014 16:48 | Updated 22 May 2015
'Mild-mannered' Jack Russell killed newborn baby in cot

A baby boy was killed after his family's 'good natured' Jack Russell bit him on the head in his cot.

Harry Harper was just eight days old when the dog, PJ, bit him as he lay in his cot, fracturing his skull and causing him brain damage.

Harry's mother, 19-year-old Mikayla Bell, told an inquest that she woke up on November 20 last year to hear her mother, Teresa, screaming.

"I immediately ran downstairs and saw mum holding Harry over the sink," she said.

"Mum was repeatedly saying, 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry' and I heard mum say, 'He's been bitten'."

Mikayla, of Ketley, Shropshire, added: "I feel angry about what happened but I don't blame anyone – I am shocked to know it was PJ because he wasn't vicious at all. What happened was a really tragic accident."

Her mum Teresa told how she found the dog sitting inside the carrycot on a table in the family's living room.

She said she was haunted by the incident, and added: "I know it was a tragic accident but I will always wonder whether I could have done something different.

"It has been a horrendous and tragic experience. I was convinced my daughter would hate me.

"Afterwards I went round the house and threw everything out to do with the dog. I hoovered up every dog hair I could find."

Teresa had agreed to wash and feed Harry for her daughter, Mikayla,while the new mum got some rest.

She left the baby alone for a moment as she waved her twin daughters off to school.

But the 40-year-old told Telford coroner's court heard that seconds later she heard Harry crying from inside the living room.

She said: "I went straight into the front room and could see PJ sat inside the carry cot on the table.

"As I looked inside, Harry was crying. There was blood coming from the back of his head and there were two dot marks on his neck."

Paramedics took the baby to hospital but he died 90 minutes after the attack from skull fractures and brain damage.

In a statement, Mikayla said the Jack Russell and the family's German Shepherd were good natured.

Inquest verdict: Accidental death.

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