COUNTY NEWS: Pensioner killed by her pet dog

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An elderly woman was killed when her pet dog turned on her, an inquest heard.

Joan Bulled, 78, from Selsey, near Chichester died on June 23 in her home in Grafton Road, after being bitten on the arm by an eight-year-old dog she had owned since a puppy.

An inquest held at Edes House in Chichester on Monday heard that Mrs Bulled was likely to have been attacked by the animal as she tried to give it the leftovers of her lunch, as she usually did.

A summary in relation to her death, approved by the family and read out by coroner’s officer Steve Unsted, said: “On Thursday, June 23, 2016, Mrs Bulled had been at home with her dog Ruby.

“Ruby is an eight-year-old Staffordshire Terrier-cross and had been part of the family since a puppy.

“Her son Wayne, whom she lives with, had been shopping in the morning, returned home briefly to drop the shopping off about mid-day.

“He spoke to his mum and all seemed well, and she indicated to him that she would put the shopping away, as Wayne was going back out.

“Wayne then left his mum, returning home at about 4pm.

“Upon entering the house, Wayne noticed that the shopping was still in the hallway, where he had left it.

“He walked into the lounge, and Ruby was jumping up and down as normal.

“Wayne then went to go into the kitchen and found his mum lying on the floor, between the kitchen and the lounge, unresponsive.”

He called 999 but paramedics declared her deceased at the scene.

“It appears that Mrs Bulled had eaten a microwave meal and as normal had given the empty plastic dish to Ruby,” Mr Unsted said.

“At this point it is unclear as to whether Ruby attacked Mrs Bulled, as the dish was being placed down, or whether Mrs Bulled had tried to remove the dish, and Ruby had taken exception to this, and had bitten her on the right forearm, causing a fatal injury.” The dog has since been destroyed.

Mrs Bulled died of an arterial bleed as a result of her injury, assistant coroner Jo Andrews said, recording a conclusion of accidental death.

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