A 22 year old civil engineer, Liam Hewitson who was having an epileptic attack was mauled to death by his own dog. According to Liam’s girlfriend, Jessica Hill, the dog had attacked him 2 previous times in the past when he had epileptic attacks and she had begged him to get rid of the pitbull cross, called Trigger but he refused saying he loved the dog too much to get rid of him. She said she is heartbroken that the dog killed him this third time it tried.
She said in a statement to the inquest:
“I asked him to get rid of the dog because of the way it had behaved but he refused. He said he loved it too much to get rid of it.”
Liam’s father, Phil Hewitson explained how he tried in vain to save his son form their pet dog. He told an inquest that he punched, kicked and even stabbed the dog in a desperate attempt to loosen its grip on the throat of his son Liam to no avail.
The inquest at Preston was told Liam was having an epileptic fit at his home in Preston when he was attacked by the dog he had raised from a puppy.
He said he was upstairs in his bedroom when he heard the commotion downstairs and ran into the kitchen to see what was going on.
“I could see the dog had bit him and then come off him. As I shouted to the dog to get away it pounced back onto him.
“I was kicking, hitting it, doing anything I could just to get it off him, but to no avail. I stabbed the dog and, after a second, it ran off. But it had already done the damage”.
His Dad said by the time the dog let go off Liam’s neck, he had suffered catastrophic injuries to the blood vessels in his neck and to his windpipe. Liam lost so much blood that by the time the paramedics arrived, they were unable to save him.
Detective Inspector Jane Webb, who investigated the death, said there was “no criminal element” to the incident on New years Day.
Consultant pathologist Dr Jacob Joseph said Liam’s death was due to injuries to the neck and trachea caused by a dog bite.
“Liam suffered from epilepsy and whilst having a fit his own dog bit him in the neck and face. He had difficulty breathing and couldn’t be resuscitated.”
Phil Hewitson said:
“I have thought a lot about this since and why Trigger might have done that. I think the dog was thinking it was trying to help him while he was having the fit by picking him up by the neck and taking him away from that spot.
“I knew from the bite and all the blood loss that the dog had basically killed him. I know there was nothing we could have done. It was very traumatic. “Liam really loved that dog. It was the first one he’d had and he took him everywhere with him.”