Wrexham woman died after being strangled by dog leads

image copyrightFamily photo
image captionThe inquest heard that Deborah Roberts - known as Deb - may have stumbled while wearing the leads around her neck

A woman was strangled to death after two dogs pulled on their leads which were around her neck as she walked them, an inquest has heard.

Deborah Roberts was fatally injured in Garden Village, Wrexham on 8 July.

She had been walking two Staffordshire bull terriers when it is thought she may have stumbled, possibly due to her Huntington's disease.

The coroner told the inquest at Ruthin that it was a "tragic case" and concluded the death was an accident.

Ms Roberts, 47, had the two rope leads around her neck as she walked the animals.

The inquest was told she usually placed the leads around her neck, but not normally in the way it would be attached to a dog.

She had been suffering from Huntington's disease, an inherited, degenerative condition, which had led to her mobility deteriorating.

Dogs 'tried to help mum'

The inquest also heard the dogs may have been trying to get Ms Roberts up by pulling on the leads, and that the dogs - Tyson and Ruby - were "loving and caring pets".

Ms Roberts's son, Robert, told the inquest: "They are beautiful dogs. If you met them now they'd just jump up and lick you. All they were doing is trying to help my mum when she fell."

Another of her sons, Callum, said his mother had been walking with his young cousin, who raised the alarm when the accident happened.

Two workmen rushed to help Ms Roberts.

In a statement, one of them said: "I noticed a young girl running towards me crying, saying 'can you help me, someone is choking'."

He said two dogs were pulling "backwards" and the force of the dogs was causing the body to move.

His colleague said in a statement both of the choke areas which go around the dog's necks were around Ms Roberts's neck.

He described how the two dogs were whimpering, adding that he could see Ms Roberts was unconscious.

Assistant coroner, David Pojur, said she "may have stumbled" but "we don't know" why she had the leads around her neck.

He recorded the cause of death as asphyxiation caused by strangulation by a lead.

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