Archie Darby dog attack baby death “not a criminal case”

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Archie Darby dog attack: baby death “not a criminal case”

Image caption
Archie Darby (left) died in the attack and his brother Daniel-Jay Darby was left with serious injuries

The death of a baby boy mauled by a family dog is “unlikely” to be treated as a criminal investigation, police said.

Archie Darby, aged four months, died after being attacked in Colchester, Essex, on Thursday afternoon.

His brother Daniel-Jay Darby, who is 22 months old, is still in hospital.

The owner of the dog – the children”s aunt – has been named as a serving police officer by other media outlets as 31-year-old PC Clare Ferdinand.

Image caption
Flowers and tributes with hand-written messages were left outside the house where the attack took place

Essex Police has refused to confirm whether she is the same PC Clare Ferdinand who has spoken on behalf of Loughton CID in the media previously.

“We are carrying out an investigation into the circumstances of this tragic incident,” a force spokesman said.

“It is not a criminal investigation and is not likely to be in the future.”

Speaking to the BBC at the weekend, Essex police and crime commissioner Roger Hirst confirmed the dog”s owner “works for police” but could not clarify in which position or for which force.

Image caption
Police outside a house on the junction of Harwich Road with Tara Close in Colchester

Mr Hirst said the family pet – believed to be a Staffordshire bull terrier-type – “didn”t have any history” of aggression and “wasn”t at all vicious”.

The boys” mother, who has not been named, was left with minor injuries during the attack in a house in Harwich Road. Police were called there at 15:10 BST on Thursday.

The dog involved has been destroyed.

The death of Archie Darby comes just three months after three-year-old Dexter Neal was fatally bitten by an American Bulldog in Halstead.

In that case, a 29-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control. She remains on bail until Wednesday.