Ex-Hampshire police dog '˜out of control' when it bit pensioner who died four days later, inquest jury saysÂ

A former Hampshire police dog that repeatedly bit a 73-year-old woman who died days later was '˜out of control', a jury has concluded.

Friday, 21st September 2018, 3:13 pm
Updated Friday, 21st September 2018, 4:18 pm
Irene Collins was attacked by the police dog in 2014. Picture: Family handout/PA Wire

Irene Collins died in hospital four days after she was attacked in her kitchen by Dano, a seven-stone German shepherd which had searched her garden in Penrith Gardens, Middlesbrough, for a suspected drug dealer who had escaped.

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The inquest jury at Teesside Magistrates' Court also found that two police forces which sold the dog on should have revealed more about its past.

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When Cleveland Police bought Dano from the Thames Valley and Hampshire forces for £500, it was unaware he had already bitten 10 people, including one in the face, mainly during operations.

The jurors had been told earlier by the coroner that they must not attribute blame when they returned the conclusion on Friday.

The pensioner, who had terminal lung cancer, told her son afterwards that the dog came into her house, bit her although she was standing still, knocked her over so she hit her head on a kitchen unit, and continued to attack her as she was on the floor.

She told him the dog was '˜out of control'.

The inquest heard Dano's handler, Pc Mark Baines, gave the command "out" and the dog released his grip.

But after Dano was taken into the hallway, he got free from his collar and returned to bite Mrs Collins on the leg.

She required surgery for a broken arm and skin grafts and, although she made a good recovery initially, she developed pneumonia in hospital and died on July 20 2014.