Police watchdog the Independent Police Complaints Commission has confirmed it will investigate following the death of a Huddersfield man.

David Ellam, 52, of Riddings Road, Sheepridge, died in hospital following a dog attack on Monday.

Police had seized the dog in June under the Dangerous Dogs Act. Police said tests revealed the dog was not a banned pit bull breed. It was returned to its owner just days before the deadly attack.

As a result the West Yorkshire force voluntarily referred itself to the IPCC and they have now decided to launch a formal investigation.

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The IPCC investigation will focus on the decision to remove the dog, the testing of its breed and the decision to return it to its owner.

IPCC commissioner Derrick Campbell said: “The death of Mr Ellam was a tragic incident and my sympathies go to his family.

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“Our independent investigation will look closely at police actions prior to Mr Ellam’s death, including the decision-making around the removal, testing and return of the dog.

“A criminal investigation into Mr Ellam’s death is being carried out by West Yorkshire Police.”

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

Mr Ellam, a lollipop man, was thought to have been trying to protect his own Yorkshire terrier, Rolo, when the dog attacked him.

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Neighbours threw him a kitchen knife and urged him to stab the dog.

Mr Ellam, a keen Huddersfield Town fan, suffered head, leg and arm injuries and lost a great deal of blood. He later died from his injuries.