Belfast Telegraph

Father won't face charges after boy (10) mauled to death by dog

Vets to give evidence over mauled boy's death

Marek Busa
Marek Busa

By Paul Higgins

A "significant" PSNI investigation took place into the tragic death of a 10-year-old boy who was mauled by the family dog, a coroner's court has heard.

The details emerged yesterday at a preliminary hearing of an inquest into the death of Ryan Busa, a pupil at Ashgrove Primary in Glengormley.

The little boy died on October 15, 2017, as a result of injuries sustained when he was attacked by the family's German Shepherd, called Max, at their home in Queens Avenue in Newtownabbey.

In the aftermath, the boy's father Marek was arrested and questioned on suspicion of murder, but he has since been told by the Public Prosecution Service that he will not face any charges over his son's death. Mr Busa was in court yesterday for the 20-minute preliminary hearing before Coroner Suzanne Anderson.

Counsel for the coroner, Ronan Daly, said he had already disclosed "a limited number of items", including the police's "structured outline" of the case, in addition to witness statements and the young boy's doctor's notes.

He added, however, that because there had been a "significant police investigation into this tragic death", a "very considerable bundle of material" was still to be disseminated.

The full inquest will feature evidence from the PSNI major investigation team and vets.

Mr Daly told Ms Anderson that he had conducted "an initial sift" of some of the police files.

He added, however, that he planned to review more to consider their relevance to the inquest and its scope.

Seamus McIlroy, acting on behalf of Mr Busa, highlighted that to date the family had not yet received a copy of the post-mortem report into Ryan's death.

The coroner said that "could be provided immediately after this hearing".

Mr McIlroy told the coroner there will probably be items to be disclosed by Mr Busa, "potentially photos and videos of the dog and the family in and around the home", adding that everything would be handed over within the next fortnight.

Mr Daly said there would also be evidence from "veterinarian personnel and experts".

Mr McIlroy said he may be engaging an expert, but there remained outstanding issues with legal aid.

Adjourning the case to June 4, Ms Anderson asked one of the lawyer's to write to the legal aid authorities "to let them know that the matter is up and running and it would be important to hear from them about any progress."

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