A six-month-old baby girl has been killed in a dog attack in Northamptonshire.

The baby was in the care of a relative when the dog attacked, said Northamptonshire Police.

Emergency services arrived at the address in Daventry at 10:30pm. Paramedics attempted to resuscitate the child while taking her to Northampton General Hospital, but she was pronounced dead on arrival.

The relative was bitten by the dog, as she tried to stop it attacking the child.

The dog was destroyed at the scene. Its breed has not yet been made public.

Det Sgt Gary Baker, who is leading the investigation, said: "This was a deeply distressing and tragic incident and our thoughts are with the family who have been left devastated by the events of last night.

"Incidents such as these are extremely rare in this country, but that will be of little comfort to the relatives of this tragically young victim.

"The family has requested that they be left to grieve at this difficult time," he said.

In May, stiffer legal penalties were introduced for those who allow dogs to be dangerously out of control.

The maximum sentence for a person responsible for an animal that kills someone in an attack was raised from two years to 14 years.

This followed two high-profile fatal dog attacks last year. In March 2013 Jade Anderson, 14, died after being attacked by four dogs in Atherton, near Wigan.

Only two months later, pensioner Clifford Clark was fatally attacked by a starving bull mastiff that had wandered into his garden.

Last month, a man's arm was almost torn off when he was set upon by his two American bull terriers in Pittington, County Durham.