Killer dogs which savaged Gloria Knowles to death in Morden had attacked 10-year-old boy, inquest hears
A pack of dogs that mauled a grandmother to death had chased down and attacked both of the family’s young sons a few months before, an inquest heard.
The popular pensioner, of Harrington’s Pie and Mash shop in Tooting, had lived next door to her daughter, Beverly Mason, where they had a gate connecting their gardens.
On the day she was killed it is believed Mrs Knowles had gone into her daughter's garden to bring in her washing when she was set upon by the dogs which included two French mastiffs, a female American bulldog and a male Alapaha blue blood bulldog.
A fifth dog, a mongrel Ms Mason was looking after for a friend, was at the house but did not have access to the garden, however Coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox said she could not rule out for certain that it was not involved in the attack.
Mrs Knowles was found slumped in her daughter's garden by her now estranged husband, Dylan Mason, with "extreme and shocking" injuries consistent with a "frenzied attack" which had almost completely severed her arm.
The garden was found covered in blood and scattered with torn clothes with all four dogs found to have blood on them.
Mrs Knowles, who was born in Colliers Wood, was pronounced dead at the scene with a post mortem concluding she had died of shock caused by blood loss after being bitten by the dogs.
At an inquest into her death at Westminster Coroner’s Court today, it was revealed all four of the dogs believed to be involved in the attack had previously shown signs of aggression toward other dogs and the couple's own children.
It was so bad, the court heard, that Ms Mason had expressed a wished to put one of them down.
Beverley Knowles, who said she had kept dogs all her life, said she had wanted to put the male Alapaha blue blood bulldog down after it attacked dogs in a park on two occasions shortly before the death of her mother.
She said: “I didn't trust him to be honest.
“After what he did it really scared me and I wanted him put down.”
On another occasion the two French mastiffs had aggressively chased her 16-year-old son in a park just months before the tragedy occurred, the court heard.
And, it was said, the Alapaha blue blood bulldog and the larger of the mastiffs chased Mr Mason's 10-year-old son leaving him with lacerations to his forearm and bite marks on his abdomen.
It was also revealed the pack of dogs had previously killed the family's cat.
Dylan Mason, giving evidence in court, said: “My son suffered some quite severe injuries.
“One of the dogs sat on top of him and he was subjected to bites.”
On the Alapaha blue blood bulldog he said: “With people he didn't know he was very wary.
“He was just an excitable dog.
“I think he caught her hand one time and she said she didn't trust the dog.
I believed he needed more time spent on him and training.”
Reaching a narrative verdict, Dr Fiona Wilcox said it was an incident which could "possibly have been predicted" given the dogs history, but thats it was unlikely given that the dogs had not acted aggressively toward anyone in the garden before.
Coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox said: "It would appear that the dogs belonging to the occupant of number seven, Rutland Drive, had a history of behaving in ways that were inappropriate.”
She added: “At approximately 5.15pm she was attacked by four dogs owned by her daughter and son in law and possibly a dog that was owned by a friend.
“All of the dogs owned by Ms Masson and Mr Mason had shown aggressive tendencies, especially the Alapaha blue blood bulldog.
“Mrs Knowles suffered extensive injuries and bled to death at the scene.”
Three of the dogs have since been put down - the Alapaha blue blood bulldog, smaller French mastiff and female American bulldog.
Mrs Knowles had run the Harrington Pie and Mash shop in Tooting, which was founded by her grandfather, which was continued by her daughter, Beverly Mason, following her retirement.
Comments are closed on this article.