14/08/2014 16:58 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Police Name 11-Month-Old Girl Mauled To Death By Family Dog

PA Wire/Press Association Images
Police officers stand at the corner of Emily Street in Blackburn, Lancashire, after an eleven month old baby girl died after she was mauled by a pet dog.

An 11-month-old girl has died after being mauled by a family dog. The baby's 20-year-old mother and her 26-year-old partner have been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.

The baby - named as Ava Jayne Corless - was taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital from a home in Blackburn, Lancashire, at 11pm yesterday and later died. The girl did not live at the address.

The dog was seized by Lancashire Police and will be destroyed.

Detective Superintendent Simon Giles said: "This is a tragic incident and specially trained officers are offering support to the wider family. A full investigation is under way."


So far, police haven't revealed the breed of dog involved, but unconfirmed reports suggested a Pitt Bull-type lived at the address.

Neighbour Frederick Frimston, 85, said that he was woken up by the sound of a woman in distress but assumed that it was a domestic incident until he received a call from police this morning.

He said: "I was already in bed and I was awoken by what sounded like a female in some kind of distress and a dog barking.

"She got into a vehicle and a door banged and then it went silent apart from the dog barking. Then when I was dropping back off I heard a police siren and then that was it, I was asleep again.

"The woman was obviously in distress, sort of half screaming if you will, at first I thought it might have been a domestic incident. It is terribly sad."


Ava-Jayne's father Dean Corless revealed his grief at hearing of the attack, saying: "I am absolutely devastated after what has happened. I found out late last night and rushed to the hospital to see her straight away."

The 24-year-old added: "She was the most beautiful and adorable little girl, she was just the best. She was my whole world.

"I will miss her every single day, I just don't know what to do now. It is just so tragic. I have my family around me now, but we are all devastated."

Grandmother Bernadette Corless added: "She was so young, it is so unfair for a baby to be taken away at that age.

"She was just beautiful - like a china doll. She was a lively baby and was always happy."

Mr Corless said that he dated Ava-Jayne's mother, Chloe King, for four years before the pair split up last summer.

Ms King, 20, and her new boyfriend Lee Wright, 26, were arrested in the wake of the girl's death and questioned on suspicion of child neglect, before being re-arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.

A post-mortem will take place to find out the exact cause of death.