London fatal dog attack woman had head and neck wounds

Image caption,
Ms Williams is believed to have been a lodger at the house in Wallington

A woman mauled to death by a dog in a house in south London died from severe head and neck injuries, police have revealed.

Barbara Williams, 52, was attacked by the animal, thought to be a Belgian mastiff, in a property in Wallington on Thursday night.

Officers found Ms Williams grappling with the dog and shot the animal dead.

A 34-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter. He was later released on bail.

Post-mortem tests found Ms Williams' cause of death was severe haemorrhage to the head and neck.

The Metropolitan Police said the arrested man, Alex Blackburn-Smith, was also arrested on suspicion of cultivating cannabis.

Earlier the force had said he was believed to be the owner of the dog.

Police were called to the home in Demesne Road shortly before 2100 GMT on Thursday.

'Distinctly large'

Floral tributes have been laid outside the house where Ms Williams, who was thought to be a lawyer, died.

She has been described as a jovial and friendly member of the community.

Det Ch Supt Guy Ferguson, of the Metropolitan Police, said officers were confronted by "a ferocious dog" when they arrived at the property.

A child aged under five was upstairs when the attack happened but was not hurt, while another female lodger was also present.

The dog was "distinctly large", Det Ch Supt Ferguson said, and officers had to use shields to control it.

They have also removed a younger dog from the home.

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