Father faces jail term after baby son mauled to death by pet dog

Ryan Young at Sunderland Minster, carrying the coffin of his son Reggie Richardson who was mauled to death by the family's terrier
Ryan Young at Sunderland Minster, carrying the coffin of his son Reggie Richardson who was mauled to death by the family's terrier

A father has been told he will be jailed after his three-week-old baby son was mauled to death by the family's terrier.

Ryan Young, 32, appeared at Newcastle Crown Court to admit being the owner of a dog which caused injury that was dangerously out of control.

Ryan Young who admitted at Newcastle Crown Court, being the owner of a dog which caused injury that was dangerously out of control

Ryan Young who admitted at Newcastle Crown Court, being the owner of a dog which caused injury that was dangerously out of control

The charge related to baby Reggie Richardson, who was just 20 days old when he died as a result of his injuries at the family home in Falkland Road, Sunderland, on June 20 2015.

A separate charge of neglect, which Young denied, will lie on file.

Recorder Nicholas Lumley QC granted Young bail to allow for a psychological assessment to be carried out ahead of a pre-sentence report.

The judge told him: "A prison sentence is inevitable.

"You must not read anything into the fact that the case is being adjourned."

The judge was told Young missed a pre-trial hearing on June 1.

Caroline Goodwin, defending, told the judge: "He simply could not face coming to court, there is no greater excuse than that.

"The defendant has had a very difficult time since the events of June 2015.

"It has been an emotionally devastating, dreadful chapter in everyone's life."

Young, wearing a blue ribbon on his grey suit, kept his head bowed for much of the hearing.

The baby's mother, Maria Blacklin, was not in court.

She had not been in the family home when the dog attacked their son as she was attending an event following a death in the family.

The father will be sentenced at a later date.

He carried his son's coffin at the funeral.

During the service, Canon Provost Sheila Bamber said: "He was simply amazing in his perfection, absolutely gorgeous, a golden little boy who brought a ray of sunshine into your family.

"Reggie was a contented baby, easy and alert, smiley, but with a pouty face too - a charmer and a bit of a poser from the word go."