Man arrested in toddler murder probe

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A MAN has been arrested on suspicion of murder after an 11-month-old boy died at a house in a Yorkshire village.

The 27-year-old was arrested at a house in the village of Hoyland Common, near Barnsley.

Police are investigating a theory that the child fell and banged his head after being knocked over by a dog.

He was taken to Sheffield Children’s Hospital but doctors were unable to save him. The man, who has not been named, has been bailed while police inquiries continue.

A neighbour said yesterday: “The little one has been taken to hospital. The dog knocked him over.”

Officers were called to a house on Chapel Street in the village on September 28.

Neighbours were interviewed as part of the investigation and the local independent safeguarding children board has been called in.

The couple in the house had only recently moved to the street.

One resident said: “The police were here for four days, perhaps longer. They were stood guarding the gate in shifts.

“They went all round asking about the couple but nobody seems to know much about them.

Another neighbour said: “I have not seen the couple since this happened. I do walk past and there were two dogs before but they’re not there any more.

“The police have told us a baby has died and that has been it. We have not been told anything since.”

A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “Police are investigating the death of an 11-month-old baby boy from Hoyland.

“A local man aged 27 has been arrested on suspicion of murder in relation to this incident.”

Coun Linda Burgess, who has cabinet responsibilities for children and families at Barnsley Council said the authority had been informed of the death.