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Four-month-old baby boy killed, brother (1) suffers 'life-changing injuries' and mother hurt in savage Staffie dog attack in Colchester, Essex

Animal destroyed after attack

Published 14/10/2016

Family handout photo of four-month-old Archie Joe Darby and his 22-month-old brother Daniel. Archie was killed and Daniel seriously injured when they were bitten by a dog in Colchester, Essex. Photo credit should read: Family handout/PA Wire
Family handout photo of four-month-old Archie Joe Darby and his 22-month-old brother Daniel. Archie was killed and Daniel seriously injured when they were bitten by a dog in Colchester, Essex. Photo credit should read: Family handout/PA Wire
Police outside a house on the junction of Harwich Road with Tara Close in Colchester, Essex. Pic: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Police outside a house on the junction of Harwich Road with Tara Close in Colchester, Essex, after a baby boy was killed and a second child injured in a dog attack.
Tara Close - scene of the dog attack in Colchester, England, which has left one child dead and another seriously injured. Image Google Street View
Scene of the incident in Colchester. Pic BBC

A four-month-old baby boy has been killed while his brother has been seriously injured and their mum hurt in a dog attack in England.

Three people - the baby, a young boy and a woman - were attacked in the Harwich Road area of Colchester in Essex at 3pm on Thursday.

The baby was rushed to hospital but could not be saved.

His brother, aged 22 months, has been left with "life-changing injuries", Essex Police said. He is being treated in a specialist unit in hospital.

While the woman, the boys' mother, was taken to hospital with minor injuries after being bitten by the dog.

The scene remained cordoned off on Friday morning.

Local paper, the Basildon, Canvey and Southend Echo, reports that the breed of dog is thought to be a Staffordshire bull terrier type.

It was removed from the property by Essex Police and destroyed at consent of its owners.

Scott Mills, who lives in a house opposite, became aware of "commotion" when he saw four police cars and two ambulances arrive at the family home on Thursday afternoon.

The 24-year-old, who was amongst a crowd of concerned neighbours and passers-by who gathered as emergency services cordoned off the road, said: "When we heard that a baby had died, everyone was very upset. It's dreadful and so tragic.

"There were a lot of children about because of the time - a lot of children were coming home from school."

Mr Mills believes the dog was a Staffordshire Bull Terrier-type dog, although the breed has not been confirmed by police: "I saw the dog being taken away. At 4pm a black van arrived. The dog was taken out of the property at 4.30pm. It was on a pole lead.

"It wasn't a normal Staffie. It was a lot more chunky - probably a Staffordshire cross or some kind of bulldog breed.

"No one opposite knows the family but I wish them the best at this awful time for them after a tragic accident."

A neighbour, who did not want to be named but was at home at the time of the incident, said: "The whole community is in shock. It's all very upsetting. You are caught off guard with these things.

"I am very upset about it all. My children saw it (the aftermath) and are very upset.

"We suddenly saw police cars at the house and the fact that it was two children is very upsetting. The little baby couldn't have done anything. It's just so sad.

"I didn't know the family well but you look out of the window and recognise your neighbours. I just can't believe it."

Chief Inspector Elliot Judge said: "This is a tragic incident that Essex Police is investigating.

"Specially trained officers are providing support to the family at this difficult time."

The attack comes after a three-year-old boy was killed in nearby Halstead in August. Dexter Neal was bitten at a house he was playing in close to his family home.

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