Woman strangled by her own dogs

NEWS AND VIEWS (COMMENT): In a freak accident, Mrs Deborah Mary Roberts, 47, suffering from Huntington’s disease, was strangled to death when the rope leads of her two Staffordshire bull terriers became wrapped around her neck after she stumbled during a morning walk.

Mrs Roberts

Mrs Roberts. Photo unattributed.

The assistant coroner for North Wales recorded “accidental death” after hearing that she had suffered from asphyxiation caused by strangulation. She fell when out for a walk with her dogs, Tyson and Ruby, in Garden Village, Wrexham, UK.

Mrs Roberts had the habit of using rope leads which she routinely placed around her neck while her dogs were allowed to roam. Comment: she may have done this because of her Huntington’s disease which is a progressive degeneration of nerve cells in the brain causing mobility problems. Although the report does not suggest this. I am speculating because it unusual to hold onto leads in this way. In fact she placed the chock hold sections of the leads around her neck (see below).

The dogs are friendly and no blame has been assigned to them. She was with her son’s young cousin, a young girl, who raised the alarm by running to two workmen. One of them said, “I noticed a young girl running towards me crying, saying, ‘Can you help me, someone is choking'”.

The workmen said that the two dogs were pulling causing Mrs Roberts to move around on the ground. His work colleague said that the choke areas of the leads were, in fact, around Mrs Roberts’ neck. He said that the dogs were whimpering because Mrs Roberts had become unconscious. She was a mother of four children.

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