A man has died after being mauled by his pet rottweiler. He died at the Royal London Hospital in east London at about 10pm on Sunday after being attacked by the dog at about 7.15am the same day.
The man, believed to be in his 70s, was taking the dog for its morning walk when he fell in the street. At first, the dog licked and pawed its owner, according to reports. But then, after becoming agitated, the dog turned on his owner, tearing chunks of flesh from his face.
Passers-by attempted to help by banging sticks on the ground and drivers honked their horns but the dog was undeterred until a police officer sprayed the animal with a fire extinguisher. Armed police were called to the scene in New City Road, Newham, and the dog was killed.
A witness, 32-year-old Aziz Rahman, a banker with HSBC, described the scene: "The man collapsed or fainted and at first the dog was trying to wake him up. Initially, it waslicking him and putting its paws on him but it became distressed when he did not get up and started to bite him.
"It was horrendous. His face was unrecognisable. The dog chewed off his ears, bit off his nose and also some of his fingers ... People were trying to scare it off by banging sticks on the ground but it took absolutely no notice and just carried on biting the poor man."
Bhupendra Karia, 30, a delivery driver who has lived next door to the victim for 20 years, said that the owner had looked after the dog since it was a puppy. "He has owned it for about 10 years and I've never known it to be vicious towards him or anyone else before."
The Government has come under renewed pressure to ban the ownership of rottweilers in the face of a recent series of attacks.