Home U.K Woman mauled to death by two dogs was great grandmother Lucille Downer,...

Woman mauled to death by two dogs was great grandmother Lucille Downer, 85


The woman, named yesterday by police as Lucille Downer, suffered multiple injuries in the “horrific” incident on Good Friday at about 3.20pm at the home in Rowley Regis, in the West Midlands. Relatives of the woman, who live close by, tried to help and the dogs’ owner was able to get them back into his garden, but she was later pronounced dead at the scene. An air ambulance had landed in a nearby park.

She is understood to have lived there alone.

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

“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.”

Neighbours, who reported the attack to police, said the animals were dragging her around the garden by her neck.

On Saturday morning, floral tributes were left on the victim’s drive, with one displaying the message “RIP Nan”.

The property remained sealed off and a large police van was parked outside the house.

An neighbour who did not want to be named, said: “I know she’s an old lady like myself and I know she’s called Lucille. 

“It’s so horrible I feel so terrible about it all.”

Other neighbours said they had seen the dogs being walked previously and “they seemed well behaved.”

Superintendent Phil Asquith of West Midlands Police said at a press conference yesterday: “Neighbours called to report that a woman, 85 years of age, was under attack from dogs from a neighbouring property.

“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.”

The dogs were tranquilised and transported to secure kennels where they currently remained yesterday awaiting DNA tests to determine their breeds.

Mr Asquith added: “Fortunately, these types of incidents are rare. This presented no wider threat to the public. It was a hole in adjacent premises so they weren’t running in the streets.

“It was contained and the male, 43, who owned those dogs was arrested yesterday. He has subsequently been bailed for further inquiries whilst we undertake a forensic post-mortem to determine the cause of death and to determine the breed of the dogs involved.

They were two large dogs.

“The DNA samples have to be taken to determine the specific breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act (to see if) they are specific breeds that are banned – and I can’t speculate as to whether or not they are banned dogs.”

He would not comment on specific injuries, but added: “The dogs will have unfortunately carried out a fairly sustained attack so there were multiple injuries, mainly caused as a result of the delay in getting into the garden.”


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