A Staffordshire Bull Terrier that mauled its owner to death after being filmed by the BBC had eaten crack cocaine, an inquest has heard.
The dog, called Major, tore into his owner Mario Perivoitos’ neck and face just after he had taken part in a documentary about drugs, called Drugs Map Britain.
A hearing was told that Major was “eight times the drug drive limit” when he attacked his owner, who had an epileptic fit and fell onto his bed at a block of flats in Wood Green, north London.
Nicholas Carmichael, an expert in veterinary toxicology, told the hearing that samples of cocaine and morphine had been discovered in Major’s urine.
He said: “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 highly more likely that this attack happened because this dog had taken cocaine.
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“In my experience with Staffordshire Bull Terriers if they think they are in a dominant position its response must have been to attack.”
He added: “The dog was eight times the drug drive limit.
“The dog had clearly taken it and, whether it had eaten it or taken it in by smoke, it is likely to have been a factor in the dog’s behaviour.
“In our opinion the dogs behaviour was as a result of the intoxication of cocaine.”
Pathologist Dr Julie Higgins said: “The body included injuries to the neck and face with extensive haemorrhaging and the larynx was crushed.”
Senior Coroner Andrew Walker recorded a conclusion of death as a consequence of injuries received from a dog.
In his conclusion, he said: “Mr Perivoitos was taking part in a documentary about illegal drugs, having returned to his home at 10.17pm consumed a quantity of cocaine before becoming unwell.
“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 whilst attempting to get the dog off Mr Perivoitos.
“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.”
The officer in the case, detective chief inspector Luke Marks, who brought no criminal charges in the case, told the court that Major was due to be destroyed.
He said: “The dog was taken to a secure police storage facility, it was due to be destroyed but I do not know if it has been.”