United Kingdom

Great-grandmother who was mauled by neighbour's dogs died of 'traumatic injury', inquest hears 

Lucille Downer, 85, suffered fatal injuries in yesterday's shocking attack, which saw dogs break through a fence into her garden

An 85-year-old great grandmother who was mauled to death by her neighbour's dogs died as a result of the traumatic injuries they caused, an inquest was told. 

The coroner Joanne Lees said retired cook Lucille Downer was pronounced dead after police were called to reports that she had been attacked by two dogs at her home in Rowley Regis, on April 2.

A short hearing was told the Jamaican-born widow's body was later identified by a relative.

No members of her family were present for the inquest opening, which did not hear evidence from any witnesses.

Adjourning the proceedings until a pre-inquest hearing on June 17, Mrs Lees said a forensic pathologist had given the cause of the death as a traumatic injury caused by a dog bite.

The coroner said: 'There is a police investigation continuing at present and I am aware that a person has been arrested and bailed in connection with the death.

'In those circumstances, I am going to adjourn to a pre-inquest hearing.

'I should like to take the opportunity to offer my most sincere condolences to the family of Mrs Downer.'

Lucille Downer, who worked as a cook at a care home before she retired, died at the scene 

As police continued to investigate at victim's property, neighbours left floral tributes outside

West Midlands Police has previously confirmed that two dogs were humanely destroyed following the pensioner's death.

The owner of the two dogs, a 43-year-old man, was arrested on suspicion of being the person in charge of a dog dangerously out of control, causing death.

He has been released on conditional bail pending further inquiries.

Police said the animals had escaped a neighbouring property through a hole in the fence before the attack.

A woman puts flowers down 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

Armed police and forensic officers,two of whom are seen carrying the sedated body of a dog

Armed officers worked with vets to tranquilise and detain the dogs before they were taken away. 

 Lucille's family shared a statement in the wake of her death that said: '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.'

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