A Staffordshire bull terrier that killed its owner by crushing his larynx in its jaws in front of a BBC documentary crew had probably taken crack cocaine, an inquest has heard.
The dog’s owner, Mario Perivoitos, died at his home in Wood Green, north London, in an incident in March that was seen but not filmed by BBC journalists making a programme about drugs.
An inquest at North London coroner’s court heard that the behaviour of the dog, called Major, could have been triggered by crack cocaine.
Nicholas Carmichael, a veterinary toxicologist, told the inquest that samples indicating high levels of cocaine and morphine were discovered in the dog’s urine.
Mail Online quoted Carmichael as saying: “It is very likely that this dog had consumed drugs, probably eaten them. It is almost impossible to say whether that will make the dog attack, but it does make them respond abnormally.
“They become very excited and agitated. It is more likely that this attack happened because this dog had taken cocaine.”
Julie Higgins, a pathologist, told the court that Perivoitos’s body “included injuries to the neck and face, with extensive haemorrhaging, and the larynx was crushed”.
The BBC crew were at his home filming Drugs Map of Britain when he began having a seizure.
The programme’s producer, Joshua Haddow, managed to wrestle Major off his owner, but it was too late to save him, the court heard. During the attack, Major crushed Mario’s larynx and caused him to lose so much blood he was given ten pints to try and revive him later in hospital, the court heard.
The senior coroner, Andrew Walker, concluded that Perivoitos died as a consequence of injuries received from the dog. He pointed out that the victim had taken cocaine before the attack.
“It is likely that he was experiencing an epileptic shock, which caused the dog to nip his face before biting his neck. The film crew telephoned an ambulance while attempting to get the dog off Mr Perivoitos,” he said.
“It is likely that the dog had consumed cocaine by eating it and it is likely that this was an additional factor in the dog’s behaviour. Mr Perivoitos suffered serious injuries and was taken to a major trauma hospital, and died shortly after midnight.”
Walker thanked the BBC crew for their attempts to save Perivoitos. Police told the inquest that Major is to be put down.
source: The Guardian