'Just horrendous': Woman dragged and mauled by dogs in garden

Nadine Carroll
·2-min read

A great-grandmother who died after being attacked by escaped dogs has been named as Lucille Downer.

The 85-year-old suffered serious injuries following a sustained attack in her backyard in Rowley Regis in the UK.

Neighbours rushed to help Ms Downer on Friday afternoon when they saw her being "dragged round her garden" by two pitbull-type dogs believed to have entered through a hole in the fence of a neighbouring property, according to The Sun.

Lucille Downer
Lucille Downer, 85, was killed by two dogs in her garden. Source: West Midlands Police

"They mauled her neck. It's just horrendous. The dogs managed to escape through into her garden," a neighbour told The Sun.

"Apparently they went for her throat like a dog would with a toy," another stunned neighbour said.

West Midlands police confirmed in a statement Ms Downer died at the scene shortly after the attack, despite the best efforts of neighbours and first responders attending to her.

"Our officers attended, by which point the dogs had returned through a hole in the fence to the adjacent property and then, unfortunately, despite the best efforts of medical professionals, that lady died at the scene," Superintendent Phil Asquith told media.

Local outlet Birmingham Live reported police seized two dogs and will undergo examination to establish their breed.

Ms Downer's family released a statement through police and said she had called the UK her home since her 20s.

"Lucille was a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother who spent her working years as a cook at Bromford House Care Home in West Bromwich," the statement said. 

"Lucille was born in Jamaica and emigrated to the UK in her early 20s. Since arriving in the UK, Rowley Regis has always been her home and her family will miss her dearly."

PABest Flowers outside the house on Boundary Avenue in Rowley Regis, West Midlands, where a woman in her 80s died after being attacked by two escaped dogs
Neighbours have laid flowers at the front of Lucille Downer's home, where she was killed by two dogs. Source: AAP

West Midlands police confirmed investigations are continuing and said a 43-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of being the person in charge of a dog "dangerously out of control and death was caused".

The incident is the latest in a string of dog attacks in the UK since this year.

In early February, Keira Ladlow was found dead after being attacked by a dog while in her bed.

A neighbour told The Sun they could hear Ms Ladlow screaming and that the dog, reportedly a bull mastiff, “bit her arm off”.

Days later, two toddlers aged 2 and 3 were attacked by a dog leaving them hospitalised with injuries.

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