Father-of-three was mauled to death by his pet dog in a “ferocious” unprovoked attack in front of his family in Cumbria, UK an inquest was told
Stephen Hodgson’s two teenage daughters waged a futile battle to tear the beast off their father after it sunk its teeth into him while he was passed out
Attacked twice in the past by the same beast, Hodgson was later pronounced dead at the scene on May 22 this year
In the fatal attack his Hodgson’s right carotid artery and jugular vein were severed and he suffered severe blood loss
Dad-of-three Stephen Hodgson, 45, was mauled to death by his pet Staffordshire bull terrier as he slept in his bedroom. His two daughters waged a futile battle to tear the beast off their father after it sunk its teeth into him while he was passed out on May 22, this year .
The former carpet fitter had passed out through drink at his home in, Cumbria, UK when Buster, one of four pit-bull cross animals the family kept as pets barged into a bedroom and bit down on his right carotid artery and severing his jugular vein. Stephen Hodgson died after his pet pitbull cross mauled him while he was passed out, at home
Carla Hodgson, 17, and her sister, Jade, 19, desperately tried to pull the Staffordshire bull terrier-pitbull cross away from their unconscious dad, but it refused to let go and went on to savage his neck, head and face, the court heard.
10-minute after the attack began , Buster suddenly stopped and the sisters managed to grab the dog by his hind legs and secure him in another bedroom. In their statement, the girls said they attempted to staunch the flow of blood by placing sheets over their father’s head to little effect. He was later pronounced dead at the scene after paramedics arrived. Three other dogs in the home were taken out of the address but Buster continued it’s aggressive behavior, barking furiously from behind the closed bedroom door.
A couple of hours after it’s owner’s death police tried controlling buster by deploying a taser, the dog fell to the floor and later died.
At the inquest, the Coroner’s Court was told that before the attack that Hodgson, a “binge-drinker”, had drunk alcohol steadily throughout the weekend. Drunk, he fell off his 19-year-old son Frazer’s bed while his daughters watched TV, and became wedged between the bed and door.
Rogue family Pitbull cross, Buster. Police later had to taser the dog to get it under control before it was destroyed.
In her statement to the court, younger daughter Carla said she and Jade shouted at their father to get up but failed in their efforts to rouse him. At which point, the dog leaned over and sniffed at Mr Hodgson before being taken outside into the garden. The girls eventually managed to lift their father on to the bed.
The dog was then let back into the house but it “barged” straight into the bedroom, it jumped on to the bed and stood over a still unconscious Mr Hodgson. Carla stated that the dog nudged her father’s head with his nose before biting down on the back of the neck.
The girls were unable to tear the dog away from their father and the animal dragged him to the floor and continued mauling him, the court was told.
Carla (L) and Jade (R), seen here with brother Frazer, tried in vainto stop Buster attacking their father
Questioned by Assistant Coroner for Cumbria,Robert Chapman, “There was nothing your dad did to aggravate your dog?”
Carla replied: “No.”
Her sister, Jade, confirmed the chronology of events, adding that it was “just a normal day”.
Questioned further, the family conceded that although Buster was normally a “good-natured” dog, it had previously bitten the owner twice in the past. On one occasion last November, he required hospital treatment for injuries to his forearm. In the fatal attack his Hodgson’s right carotid artery and jugular vein were severed.
Mr Chapman said: “This was clearly quite a ferocious attack. His head, neck and face were quite badly mauled by the dog.
“There is no indication of what caused the dog to do this. Clearly it must have been upset by something but we do not have any idea what.”
In a narrative conclusion, the coroner ruled that Stephen Hodgson had died from injuries sustained when his neck, face and head were bitten by a dog.
The Hodgson children accompanied by their mother, Theresa O’Neill, left the hearing without comment. Ms O’Neill is Stephen Hodgson’s ex-partner.