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Dogwalker Natasha Johnston may have been ‘mauled to death by own bulldog’

Natasha Johnston died from “multiple penetrating bites to the neck”, an inquest heard. (Facebook/PA)
Natasha Johnston died from “multiple penetrating bites to the neck”, an inquest heard. (Facebook/PA)

A south London woman may have been mauled to death by her own pet dog as she walked a pack of dogs in Surrey.

Natasha Johnston’s American Bully XL was among eight animals the 28-year-old was walking when she was attacked.

The Croydon woman died after suffering “multiple penetrating bites to the neck”, according to her inquest.

The bulldog was put to sleep, Surrey Police said after a recommendation from a forensic veterinary report.

Police at Gravelly Hill in Caterham, Surrey (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)
Police at Gravelly Hill in Caterham, Surrey (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)

The other seven dogs were placed in private kennels since the fatal attack on January 12.

Only two Dachshunds have been returned to their owner, police said.

A spokesman for Surrey Police said: “We have now received a forensic veterinary report and this has been shared with the Surrey Coroner.

“As a result of this, two dogs (both Dachshunds) were returned to their owner at the end of April and one dog, which belonged to the deceased, has been put to sleep.

“The five other dogs remain in private kennels and we are speaking with their owners regarding recommendations from the report.

“We believe the breed of dog which was put to sleep was an American Bully XL.”

Natasha Johnston suffered shock and haemorrhage including a wound to her left jugular vein as she walked in woodland in Gravelly Hill, Caterham, Surrey Coroner’s Court was told.

Surrey Police said they had closed their investigation into her death, with no prosecutions being brought against any individuals.

A friend of Ms Johnston from her childhood home of Ryde on the Isle of Wight, Jo Butchers, told the Mail on Sunday: “Long countryside walks with the dogs were her thing.

“She did a lot of dog walking here, not as a professional but with her own dogs and those of friends.

“Then she moved away and that became her job in London. She grew up with dogs, so she always loved them.”

A childhood friend, who is a mum of one, added: “We’re absolutely devastated. She was so caring, a beautiful girl inside and out.

“She was always bubbly when she used to come to meet my girl. They used to go out together and enjoy their lives as young teenagers.”

A full inquest is set to be heard next month at Woking Coroner’s Court.