The great-grandfather of tragic dog attack baby Reggie Young has spoken of his devastation of losing the tiny tot just a day after his wife died.
Richard Blacklin, 84, is the grandfather of three-week-old Reggie’s mother Maria Blacklin, and lost his wife Alice only hours before the second tragedy unfolded in his family.
Reggie, who lived at the home with dad Ryan Young, mum Maria and his siblings, was bitten by the family dog, believed to be a small terrier called Tricky, who has been described as “friendly”.
Reggie was rushed to hospital, but died from his injuries.
A 30-year-old man has been arrested and bailed in connection with the investigation.
Maria had been to see the family after her grandmother’s death and returned home to Falklands Road, Ford Estate, to the horrific news about her youngest child.
I had just lost my wife and now I’ve lost my grandbairn tooRichard Blacklin
Speaking at his home in Pennywell, a heartbroken Mr Blacklin said: “The whole family is upset.
“I had just lost my wife and now I’ve lost my grandbairn too.
“My daughter lives down Ford and I live up here, so I hadn’t seen much of the baby yet. He was my grandbairn. I’m devastated. I’ve lost my grandbairn.”
Police were still present outside Reggie’s parents’ semi-detached home yesterday as investigations into the tragedy continued. Meanwhile, a growing number of tributes were left to the tragic tot.
A Northumbria Police spokesman said: “The dog is likely to be destroyed. It is forming part of the investigation at this time and remains in kennels.”
Support for the family has flooded in online from as far away as Australia.
Among messages on the Echo’s Facebook page was one poignant note left by Tara Fahy, from Mackay, Queensland.
Ms Fahy, whose three-year-old son, Korbin Sprott, died two years ago after he was bitten by his grandfather’s dog, has urged people not to blame Reggie’s parents for what happened.
“My son was killed by a dog almost two years ago,” she said.
“He was at his grandparents’ place. Do I blame them? No. The dog did it. The dog had the best training, breeding and temperament.
“It just snapped one day.”
Meanwhile, a fund-raising page started by Danny Robson at www.gofundme.com/xhcqms has exceeded a £300 target to help Reggie’s family with funeral expenses, raising a total of £381 at the time of going to press.
Another page was set up by Amy Balderson www.gofundme.com/xhsvds raoosied £190, and a third by Ashley Hall at www.gofundme.com/x7fypnk has raised £15.