Dog walker died after being choked by lead, inquest hears

A woman was strangled by her dog's leads when she took the animal for a walk, an inquest heard.

Deborah Roberts, 47, had looped the leads around her neck while she let her Staffordshire bull terriers run free.

It is thought that her pets tugged on the leads to gain her attention when she was on the ground.

An inquest in Ruthin recorded a conclusion of accidental death on Mrs Roberts, from Garden Village in Wrexham.

The tragedy occurred on July 8 as Mrs Roberts, a warehouse worker, took the pets, which she had owned for several years, for their regular walk near her home in Ffordd Mon, Rhosddu, Wrexham.

The alarm was raised when a young relative who had been with her ran to nearby workmen, shouting “Help me, help me, my friend is choking”.

Mrs Roberts was lying on the ground with the rope leads around her neck and the dogs nearby.

She was declared dead at the scene by paramedics and the cause of death was given as asphyxia due to strangulation.

Sons Callum and Daniel Robert explained to David Pojur, assistant coroner for North Wales East and Central, how their mother seemed to have looped the leads around her neck.

The mother-of-four suffered from Huntingdon’s Disease, one of the symptoms of which is stumbling and being unsteady on one’s feet, but they said their mother walked without an aid and one would not have known that she had the disease.

Daniel said it was possible she had stumbled over a slight hump and dip at the edge of the field and it was also wet underfoot.

Recording a conclusion of accidental death, the coroner said it was not known why she had looped the leads around her neck or why she had fallen.

“This is a very sad case of a woman who was enjoying herself.

"The dogs were not dangerous – almost family members – and were distressed because she was on the ground," Mr Pojour said.

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