'We will miss her dearly': Family tributes as Rowley Regis dog attack victim is named as Lucille Downer, 85

The family of a great-grandmother who was mauled to death by two escaped dogs in the Black Country have said they will 'miss her dearly'.

Lucille Downer
Lucille Downer

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

Neighbours rushed to her aid after the dogs escaped at around 3.20pm but the 85-year-old was subjected to a "sustained attack" and was confirmed dead at the scene shortly afterwards.

Floral tributes left at the scene

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.

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

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

Flowers left at the scene

Floral tributes have been left outside Mrs Downer's home in Boundary Avenue, with one displaying the message "RIP Nan".

Meanwhile tests are being undertaken to establish the breeds of the dogs, which were tranquilised after the attack and seized by police.

Floral tributes left at the scene

The semi-detached house remained sealed off on Saturday, with forensic specialists examining the scene after armed police were called on Friday.

A 43-year-old man alleged to be the owner of dogs dangerously out of control was arrested just after the attack but has since been bailed pending further enquiries.

Police at the scene in Boundary Avenue

A post mortem was also due to be carried out to establish the exact cause of Mrs Downer's death.

Superintendent Phil Asquith this morning sought to reassure the public that dog attacks are rare and that there was no wider threat to the public, with the dogs responsible being held in secure kennels.

Police search a car in Boundary Avenue

James Morris, MP for Halesowen and Rowley Regis, said: "Like everyone I am deeply shocked and saddened by this horrific incident. My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Lucille Downer at this incredibly difficult time."

Councillor Sharon Davies, who represents the area, said: "It's such a tragedy because the lady was in her late 80s and she's gone through her life and was in her retirement.

"It's really an unfortunate incident. I want to pass my condolences on to her family – it really is a tragic thing what's happened.

Shock

"It was quite a shock [when she found out about it] because you don't think things like this are going to happen, it's really really sad."

A neighbour, who didn't wish to be named, said at the time it was a "normally-quiet" street. He added: "You don’t expect things like this to happen, it’s definitely a shock."

West Midlands Police continue to investigate the circumstances and anyone with information, and not spoken to officers already, is urged to get in contact via Live Chat or 101. Quote log 2501 of 2/4/21.

Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or at crimestoppers-uk.org

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