Dog grabbed baby from mother's arms and savaged him to death, inquest told

Updated: 

A four-month-old baby was snatched from his mother's arms by the family dog and savaged to death, an inquest has heard.

Archie Joe Darby died after he was bitten by the animal at a house in Harwich Road in Colchester, Essex, on October 13.

A post-mortem examination revealed he died of severe head injuries consistent with a dog attack, a hearing at Essex Coroner's Court in Chelmsford heard on Friday.

His 22-month-old brother, Daniel-Jay, suffered life-changing injuries, and the boys' mother suffered minor injuries.

Coroner's officer David Dinnell said: "Archie Darby was a four-month-old baby being held in his mother's arms when he was taken out of her arms by the family dog and attacked."

An ambulance was called and CPR was attempted but Archie was pronounced dead at the scene at 4.02pm.

A post-mortem examination was carried out at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London on October 19 and gave the provisional medical cause of death as severe head injuries.

His body has yet to be released.

Essex Police said the dog, believed to be a Staffordshire bull terrier-type, was put down with the consent of its owner.

The dog belonged to Archie's aunt, who has been named in reports as Clare Ferdinand, 31, a serving Essex Police officer.

Police are not treating the incident as a criminal investigation.

Archie's parents paid tribute to their "beautiful little angel" following the tragedy.

Senior Essex Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray said: "Please let condolences be expressed to Archie's family at this very dreadful time for them."

The inquest was opened and adjourned until a full hearing on December 5.