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Child killed by Rottweiler
- chained bitch was ‘never walked or allowed in the house’

A thirteen MONTH-old child was mauled to death by a Rottweiler just days after Christmas. Archie-Lee Hirst was spending Christmas at his grandparent’s house in Wakefield, West Yorkshire when the dog attacked him on Friday, December 28th.

Well-wishers delivered floral tributes at the end-terrace house in Chald Lane. One woman, who did not wish to be named, said she did not know the family but felt she had to pay her respects. She said: ‘I have a child the same age as this boy and we have a dog as well. I feel great sympathy for them. It must be awful for the parents.’

A police cordon remained in place around the property the following day as officers conducted house-to-house inquiries, in order to build up a picture of how the tragedy had occurred.
Speaking outside the house, Detective Superintendent Steve Payne, who is leading the investigation, said the family were united in grief.

He added: ‘The focus of the investigation will now be to conduct house-to-house inquiries and try to build up a picture of anything that will help the investigation.’

Archie-Lee’s mother Becki turned 18 the same weekend, but instead of celebrating her coming of age, she was mourning the death of her child.

According to evidence released to press, it appears that Miss Hirst's 16-year-old sister Kara was at home babysitting her two younger sisters, aged six and seven, as well as Archie-Lee.
He was being carried to the back door by the seven-year-old girl when, for reasons unknown, the dog snatched the child out of her arms. His aunt failed to save him from the dog's jaws, despite striking and kicking it.

Archie-Lee's father, Damian Williamson, 20, who is understood to live separately from Miss Hirst, also left a tribute to his son on the site.

Predictably, the national media made much of the tragedy, pointing out the obvious similarity to the case of five year-old Ellie Lawrenson, who was killed almost exactly one year earlier when her uncle’s Pit Bull terrier mauled her.

But despite the media hype and the inevitable calls for Rottweilers to be banned, the Government said it has no plans to add Rottweilers to the list of dogs banned under the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act.

The two-and-a-half year old Rottweiler was shot by police marksmen following the attack as it was ‘clearly representing a potential danger to others’.

OUR DOGS has learned from a neighbour of Miss Hirst that the Rottweiler, a bitch named Kyla, was kept outside chained in a metal pen, and cried almost continuously for attention, but was shouted at by her owners to be quiet. It is understood that they hadn't owned the dog since puppyhood, but took her on as an older dog who had never been walked or socialised. The neighbour, who declined to be named, claimed to have reported the dog’s distress to the authorities, but no action was taken.

The family is believed to have another dog, a Saluki, that is regularly walked and lives in the family home, although the Rottweiler was never allowed indoors.