A man killed in a savage dog attack in Sheepridge has been named as David Ellam.

Mr Ellam, 52, was was attacked by his neighbour’s Staffy-type dog as he tried to protect his Yorkshire terrier outside his home on Riddings Road at 9.45am yesterday.

The scene of dog attack in Riddings Road, Sheepridge. A Staffy-type dog called Alex was kept in a pen to the rear of the flats in the centre of the picture.

He is thought to have suffered massive blood loss from his injuries.

And West Yorkshire Police will now be investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission after they had returned the dog to its owner after previously seizing it for several weeks.

Police confirmed that Dave had died on the night of the attack.

He lived in a downstairs flat with his small terrier while the owner of the other dog lived upstairs. Both have separate entrances into their properties.

Police say he was treated by paramedics and taken to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary with potentially life threatening injuries and was pronounced dead at 9pm.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Swift from the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team who is leading the investigation, said: “Clearly our thoughts go out to the family at this tragic time. They are understandably devastated by what has happened and are being supported by specially trained officers.

Looking from the play area to the house where a man was savaged to death by a dog on Riddings Road in Sheepridge. The victim's flat is at the side entrance while the dog that attacked him lived upstairs with its owner.

“Our investigation is continuing. We believe the victim was out with his own dog at the time of the attack near to his home address on Riddings Road. His dog, a Yorkshire Terrier, was also injured during the incident and received emergency veterinary care.”

The dog called Alex is thought to be a Staffy-Labrador cross and is currently detained in to kennels by police.

In June this year, a dog warden visited the address following concerns from members of the public about the dog. A referral to police was made following concerns the dog may be a dangerous breed.

Video thumbnail, Sheepridge dog attack: Martin Shaw reports
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As a result, the same dog was seized by police and following a screening it was determined the animal was not a banned breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act. The dog was returned to its owner on August 10 after being seized on June 22 on suspicion it was a banned pit bull terrier breed.

In a statement the police had said: “Following a screening it was determined the animal, while a type of bull terrier, did not have enough pit bull characteristics to be held by authorities as a banned breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act.”

After the attack a 29-year-old man who owns the dog was arrested in connection with the incident and later released on police bail pending further enquiries.

Scene of dog attack in Sheepridge

One of Dave’s neighbours, mum-of-five Lisa Bottomley, said the dog owner used to play football with the dog in his garden all the time – and so did his son.

“He even had some goalposts in the garden,” she said. “The first I knew anything had happened was when I saw the house taped off. To be honest I’d not had any concerns about the dog but I’m not sure if it was tied up in the garden or not.”

Dave is thought to have been bitten on his arm, leg and head and one shocked witness said he must have “lost half his body weight in blood.”