Two dogs 'humanely destroyed' after great-grandmother dies in 'violent attack'

4 April 2021, 18:15 | Updated: 5 April 2021, 08:50

Lucille Downer, 85, has been named as the victim of a tragic attack by two dogs.
Lucille Downer, 85, has been named as the victim of a tragic attack by two dogs. Picture: West Midlands Police

By Joe Cook

Two dogs have been "humanely destroyed" after the death of a great-grandmother in a "sustained attack", police say.

On Saturday, Lucille Downer, 85, was named by police as the victim of the attack by two escaped dogs on Friday afternoon.

The great-grandmother suffered multiple injuries in the "horrific" incident on Boundary Avenue in Rowley Regis, West Midlands Police said.

The force have said the dogs have now been "humanely destroyed" following "specialist advice" that said the "dogs could never be rehomed due to the violent act".

The ownership of the dogs have been "voluntarily transferred to the police".

The previous 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.

Read more: Elderly woman dies after being attacked by two escaped dogs

On Saturday Ms Downer's family remembered the 85-year-old fondly in a statement released by police.

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

Read more: Great-grandmother Lucille Downer named as victim of 'sustained attack' by escaped dogs

Floral tributes have been left outside Ms Downer's house.
Floral tributes have been left outside Ms Downer's house. Picture: PA
Lucille Downer's family said Rowley Regis had always been Lucille Downer's home since arriving in the UK.
Lucille Downer's family said Rowley Regis had always been Lucille Downer's home since arriving in the UK. Picture: PA

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

Neighbours rushed to the aid of Ms Downer at around 3.20pm on Friday, but she was sadly confirmed dead at the scene soon afterwards, police said.

The dogs were tranquillised and taken by police to a nearby kennels where they were being tested to determine their breed.

Police remained at the scene on Saturday.
Police remained at the scene on Saturday. Picture: PA

Speaking at a press conference outside West Bromwich Police Station on Saturday, Superintendent Phil Asquith said he could not speculate on the breed of the dogs, but that they were "large".

"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 added.

On Sunday, the police said while the dogs have now been put down, "further analysis will take place to determine what breed they were".

Police have urged anyone with information, who has not already spoken to officers, to get in contact via Live Chat or 101 quoting log 2501 of 2/4/21.