UK & World News

  • 11 December 2013, 21:32

Emma Bennett: Dog Attack Family's 'Devastation'

The family of a mother-of-four mauled to death by two American pit bulls have spoken of their devastation.

Emma Bennett died on Tuesday evening after she was bitten by the dogs at a house in Dawlish Avenue in the Osmondthorpe district of Leeds.

It was reported that the attack, on Monday afternoon, happened while the 27-year-old was suffering an epileptic fit.

A 33-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of offences under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

Ms Bennett's family said in a statement issued through West Yorkshire Police: "We are all very deeply upset at Emma's death, not just because she has been taken from us so suddenly but because of the horrific circumstances and the fact she was on her own at the time she was injured.

"Emma was a mother-of-four and although she had had some issues in her life she loved her children. She was a lively person who had a great sense of fun but she was also strong-headed and had her own opinions.

"She was the eldest of four children and had two brothers and a sister. They were at her bedside in hospital along with her mother and grandparents when she passed away.

"We are all devastated at Emma's death but the whole family has pulled together and are really supporting each other. We are grateful to everyone who has sent messages of sympathy and support."

Detective Superintendent Simon Beldon, leading the investigation, said: "Early indications are that the two dogs seized from the address are American pit bull terriers although tests are still ongoing to establish their exact make up.

"Dogs of this type are subject to restrictions under the Dangerous Dogs Act and our enquiries are focused on this aspect.

"We are continuing to appeal for anyone with information about the incident or the dogs involved in it to contact the investigation team."

Ms Bennett's neighbour, Chris Roebuck, said he was surprised the dogs were vicious enough to carry out the attack.

"I've seen one of them, which I have stroked and it seemed soft, really soft," he said. "It wanted to lick you at all times - that's the big dog - but I never saw the other dog."

Mr Roebuck said the dogs "seemed calm" and only ever barked occasionally.

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