Tragic toddler died from a blow to his tummy

An inquest has heard that a toddler whose death is the subject of a murder investigation died after receiving a physical blow to his abdomen.

Two-year-old Harry House suffered bruising and grazing to his stomach and back as a result of a blunt force trauma.

Harry went into cardiac arrest at his home in the village of Broadmayne, near Dorchester in Dorset, on the morning of 26 May.

Although paramedics were quickly on scene, performed CPR and rushed him to the Dorset County Hospital, he was declared dead at 11am.

Police at the house in Broadmayne where Harry lived Credit: ITV News

Police launched a murder investigation on 1 June after receiving the results of a post mortem examination.

As a result, a local man and woman - both aged 21 and known to Harry - were arrested on suspicion of his murder.

They were released on bail and are due to return in August.

More tests need to be carried out to determine exactly how Harry died Credit: ITV News

The Dorset coroner, Mr Sheriff Payne, today opened and adjourned the inquest into Harry's death.

Ian Parry, the senior coroner's officer, gave a provisional cause of death of blunt force trauma but explained that more tests are still to be carried out.

On Thursday 26 May the body of Harry Reuben Jon House was identified at Dorset County Hospital.

Ian Parry, senior coroner's officer
Flowers laid in tribute on the doorstep last week Credit: ITV News

Harry lived with his mother Lauren O'Neill and her boyfriend Joe Hughes in Broadmayne, having moved to the area about two months ago.

His grandmother Sarah Richards said Harry's father, Joe House, and the rest of his family were all devastated by the toddler's death and described her son as "heartbroken". He previously posted on Facebook: "Life won't be the same again."

The inquest has been adjourned until 26 October.