Tees

Irene Collins death: Cleveland Police dog handler quizzed

Irene Collins' home
Image caption Irene Collins was attacked by the dog in the kitchen of her home

A Cleveland Police dog handler has been interviewed under caution over the death of a Teesside woman who died after being bitten during a search.

Irene Collins, 73, was repeatedly bitten by a German shepherd as officers searched for a suspect in her Middlesbrough garden, in July.

The un-named officer could also face a gross misconduct hearing as part of a police watchdog investigation.

The dog was put down in September, the force has now confirmed.

Mrs Collins died in hospital four days after the incident on 16 July.

'Aerial footage'

The case has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

An IPCC spokesman said: "The officer was interviewed in relation to an allegation of failing to control a dog, contrary to the provisions of the Dangerous Dog Act 1991.

"IPCC investigators have obtained and considered information including police logs, radio communication, aerial footage and written statements from the officers who attended Mrs Collins' house on 16 July.

"They are also liaising with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) over its separate investigation."

An inquest was opened and adjourned into Mrs Collins' death in August.

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