A man with Down’s Syndrome who was feared to have been killed in a savage dog attack had collapsed due to a medical episode and the pets were only trying to save him, locals have claimed.
John William Jones, 68, known as William, was found dead at his country cottage in Lampeter, West Wales, and police sedated three bulldogs Milo, Tia and Abbie after arriving at the scene.
A 51-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control.
John William Jones, 68, known as William, was found dead at his country cottage in Lampeter, West Wales
Police were called on Monday night after a caller said a man living at the property had been bitten by dogs
Police were called on Monday night after a caller said a man living at the property had been bitten by dogs inside the two-bedroomed cottage.
Neighbours said police surrounded the cream terraced property with dogs howling and barking inside.
Teacher Jasmine Jacques-Butterworth, 28, who lives next door said: ‘It looks like William had a heart attack or seizure and the dogs were just trying to protect him.
‘They are harmless and William had known them since they were puppies. They would not have attacked him.
‘It’s heartbreaking, William was a lovely, sweet man who was fond of the three dogs.’
Another neighbour said: ‘All hell was let loose, there were police everywhere and you could hear the dogs howling.
Neighbours said police surrounded the cream terraced property with dogs howling and barking inside
‘They are big brown bulldogs but well behaved and they’ve never hurt anyone as far as I know.’
Tia was the eldest dog and the two younger ones Milo and Abbie were her offspring. According to locals, Milo died after suffering a bad reaction to anaesthetic given by the police.
Neighbour Saskia Harrison, 49, paid tribute to Liverpool fan Will who had moved in with his family after his parents died.
She said: ‘He was absolutely lovely, he would sit in the garden and do crosswords from a puzzle book. He was quite bright.
‘He had Down’s Syndrome and had been through a bit of a tough time because Covid meant he couldn’t attend any of the clubs he loved to go to.
‘People thought he wasn’t very good at communicating but that’s because he always spoke in Welsh – that was his first language.’
The dogs’ owner, a 51-year-old woman, was arrested on suspicion of being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control
Locals had a small party for William for his 68th birthday last April.
The arrested woman has been released by police and is staying with friends in the Lampeter area.
A Dyfed-Powys Police spokeswoman said: ‘We are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a man at a property in Lampeter.
‘Dyfed-Powys Police officers were called just after 5pm, Monday, 10th January 2022, to a report that a man had been bitten by dogs resident within the household.
‘Sadly, a man in his 60s passed away at the scene.
‘A woman was arrested on suspicion of being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control. She has been released under investigation pending further police enquiries.
‘The three dogs involved did not fall under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and have been removed from the property.’
An inquest was opened and adjourned by the Cardiganshire Coroner while police inquiries continue.