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Baby died 'after being pulled from pram by family dog'

Eliza-Mae Mullane died after being grabbed from her pram by a dog at home in Pontyberem Photo:

The death of a six-day-old baby from Carmarthenshire was accidental and "could not have been foreseen", a coroner has ruled.

The inquest in Llanelli heard Eliza-Mae Mullane was killed when she was grabbed from her pram by her family's pet dog in February.

Eliza's mother Sharon John, 42, had escorted one of her other children to the front door to get into a waiting taxi bound for school.

She returned to find Eliza-Mae dead on the floor next to her pram after being bitten by the family pet.

The inquest heard the baby suffered serious head injuries and died from compression injuries to the skull at the family home in Pontyberem.

Coroner's officer David Williams told the hearing: "Eliza-Mae was being breastfed when Sharon heard the taxi arrive and placed her in a pram to take her brother to the taxi.

"Eliza-Mae was asleep in the pram. Sharon opened the porch door and the dog walked past her into the house - the dog normally sleeps in the porch.

"A few moments later Sharon returned to the house to see the pet dog in the living room and Eliza-Mae on the floor.

"She had clearly suffered serious head injuries and Sharon believed she was no longer alive."

Despite attempts to resuscitate the infant, she later died in hospital.

The inquest was told the family had two dogs - a husky-like Alaskan Malamute called Misha and a terrier called Roxy.

The hearing was not told which dog had carried out the attack, but neither had shown any aggression before the sudden attack on Eliza-Mae.

The dogs were seized by police and later put down after a post-mortem examination and forensic tests on Eliza-Mae.

Carmarthenshire coroner Mark Layton said the fatal attack happened in a "short space of time" when Sharon helped her son into a taxi for school.

He said: "A pet dog pushed past her as she opened the porch door and Eliza-Mae had been pulled from her pram and had serious and fatal injuries inflicted on her.

"Eliza-Mae's mother could not have foreseen this happening."

A verdict of accidental death was recorded at the end of the five-minute hearing.

Eliza-Mae's parents attended the short inquest and left immediately.

In a statement to the inquest, Eliza-Mae's father Patrick, 35, said: "We hope this inquest will raise public awareness of the potential dangers family dogs can present to very young children.

"I hope Sharon, the children and I can move on from this sadness and recall the joy the short time we spent with Eliza-Mae."

At the time of Eliza-Mae's death, her parents said the tragedy had "cast the most horrible shadow" over the family.