A father-of-three was mauled to death by a Staffordshire bull terrier-pitbull cross in a ‘ferocious’ unprovoked attack, an inquest heard.
Stephen Hodgson, a 45-year-old former carpet fitter, had passed out after drinking in his home in Cleater Moor in Cumbria when their family dog buster bit down on his neck,.
His two daughters desperately tried to pull the dog away from their dad, who remained unconscious, but he refused to let go and ended up savaging his neck, head and face.
After 10 minutes Buster suddenly stopped attacking and Carla, 17, and her 19-year-old sister Jade managed to grab him by the hind legs and put him in another room.
The teenagers then placed sheets over their dad’s head in an attempt to stem the catastrophic blood loss. However, he was pronounced dead at the scene on May 22, after emergency services arrived.
More than two hours after Hodgson’s death, police used a Taser on Buster – who was not a banned breed – and he fell to the floor. The dog later died.
Cockermouth Coroner’s Court was told that ‘binge-drinker’ Hodgson had drunk heavily over the weekend after having stayed ‘dry’ for six to eight weeks.
The two sisters had to lift their father onto their brother’s bed, face-down and with his legs dangling off the side. Buster was then let back into the house, when he ‘barged’ into the bedroom, jumped on the bed and stood over Hodgson.
Carla said in a statement that the dog then nudged her father’s head with his nose, before suddenly biting down on the back of his neck.
Robert Chapman, Assistant HM Coroner for Cumbria, asked her: ‘There was nothing your dad did to aggravate your dog?’
She replied: ‘No.’
‘This was clearly quite a ferocious attack,’ Chapman said. ‘His head, neck and face were quite badly mauled by the dog.
‘There is no indication of what caused the dog to do this. Clearly it must have been upset by something, but we do not have any idea what.’
The assistant coroner concluded that Hodgson had died from injuries sustained when his neck, face and head were bitten by a dog.