St Helens toddler Bella-Rae Birch who was killed by family dog died from 'head trauma'

Bella Rae was killed by a family dog that was brought home days before. Credit: Family picture

A toddler who was attacked and killed by her family's pet dog died from a head trauma, it has been revealed. An inquest was opened and adjourned into the death of 17-month-old Bella-Rae Birch after the incident at the family home in St Helens.

Merseyside Police and the ambulance service were called to Bidston Avenue at 3:50pm on Monday, 21 March, after a report that a child had been "seriously injured."

Bella Rae died in Alder Hey Children's Hospital after at the attack. Credit: Family photo

Bella-Rae died at Alder Hey Children's Hospital at 4:45pm the same day.

A post-mortem examination subsequently established the cause of death as "head trauma."Police say Bella-Rae's family had bought the dog just a week before the attack.

The American Bully XL, a legal breed of dog and not subject to any prohibitions under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, was humanely destroyed following the incident.

The animal was humanely destroyed after the incident. Credit: Liverpool Echo

The family issued a tribute to Bella-Rae through Merseyside police, and said: "As a family we would like to thank the community for their support.

"We would ask that we are now allowed some space and time to try and come to terms with the tragic loss of our much-loved Bella-Rae. She will be sadly missed but never forgotten."A vigil and balloon release was held in St Helens town centre in memory of the toddler, and a GoFundMe page has been set up to to raise funds for her funeral.