Dogs which killed Black Country great-grandmother identified as legal American Bulldogs

The dogs which killed a great-grandmother in the Black Country have been identified as American Bulldogs, a legal breed.

Lucille Downer
Lucille Downer

Lucille Downer, 85, was killed when she was attacked by two dogs which got into her back garden in Boundary Avenue, Rowley Regis, through a hole in the fence on Good Friday.

Neighbours rushed to her aid after the dogs escaped at about 3.20pm but Mrs Downer was subjected to a “sustained attack” and was confirmed dead at the scene shortly afterwards.

West Midlands Police released details of the breed - which they reiterated is not a breed banned in the UK - on Wednesday morning after "extensive testing".

Flowers outside the house on Boundary Avenue in Rowley Regis (Jacob King/PA)

The ownership of the dogs was voluntarily transferred to police. Following specialist advice it was established the dogs could never be rehomed due to the violent act and they were "humanely destroyed".

The 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 remains on conditional police bail pending further enquiries.

Detectives say they are not looking for anyone else in connection with this investigation.

A woman puts flowers down outside the house on Boundary Avenue

A family tribute issued after Mrs Downer’s death said they “will miss her dearly”.

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

"Lucille was born in Jamaica and emigrated to the UK in her early 20s.

Police at the scene in Boundary Avenue

"Since arriving in the UK, Rowley Regis has always been her home and her family will miss her dearly."

The opening of an inquest into Mrs Downer's death heard that the widow was a retired cook and was born in Jamaica in April 1935.

The inquest, which opened on April 20, was adjourned to allow police to continue their investigation – and scheduled a pre-inquest review to take place on June 17.

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