Mother pays tribute to son killed by dog
LONDON (Reuters) - The mother of a year-old boy who died after being attacked by a pet rottweiler has paid tribute to her "sleeping angel".
Rebecca Hirst, who turned 18 on Sunday, said her 13-month-old son Archie-Lee would never be forgotten.
"It's so hard for me at this time. My boy was my world. We shared so many precious memories in the short while that we had together," she said in a statement released by West Yorkshire Police.
She also thanked her 16-year-old sister who tried in vain to rescue her son from the dog.
"I'd like to say to Kara we are all so proud of her -- she tried. She's a hero in my eyes and will be respected for what she did for the rest of her life."
The boy's father, Damian Williamson, 20, also paid tribute to his son on his Bebo social networking Web page: "Never gona 4get ya lil man, R.I.P. 4eva n always."
The boy died in hospital on Friday after the dog snatched him from the arms of his seven-year-old aunt who had been carrying him at his grandparents' house in Wakefield.
Detective Superintendent Steve Payne said the family remained inconsolable and did not plan to return to the house until the New Year.
"The focus of our investigation currently is carrying out house-to-house enquiries, speaking to neighbours and we shall also be speaking to local business owners in the area," he said.
Armed police officers destroyed the dog, a two-and-a-half year old female, at the scene.
The family had owned the dog, which they kept in their yard, for about six months. It had not previously shown any signs of aggression, police said.
The boy had been staying with his grandparents since Christmas Day and was due to return to his parents over New Year.
The attack came almost a year after five-year-old Ellie Lawrenson was mauled to death by a family pit-bull terrier at her grandmother's house.
Her uncle Kiel Simpson was jailed for eight weeks for owning a banned breed of dog.
Rottweilers are not banned by the Dangerous Dogs Act, but the legislation covers any dog out of control in a public place.
(Reporting by Tim Castle)
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