police to be probed over david's death; IPCC to look at why dog was returned.
Byline: Louise Cooper Crime Reporter email@example.com
POLICE watchdog the Independent Police Complaints Commission has confirmed it will investigate following the death of a Huddersfield man in a savage dog attack.
David Ellam, 52, of Riddings Road, Sheepridge, died in hospital following the horrific incident just outside his home on Monday.
Police had seized the dog in June under the Dangerous Dogs Act and 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 which has now decided to launch a formal investigation.
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.
"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."
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.
Hundreds of tributes have been left on social media for Mr Ellam.
Many have also expressed concern for his beloved dog Rolo and a number have said they would adopt him, however, he is now back with Mr Ellam's family after being treated by a vet for minor injuries.
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.
Suggestions have been circulating on social media to mark Mr Ellam's death with a minutes applause at the Huddersfield Town game against Barnsley on Saturday.