Dog walker Natasha Johnston died from multiple bites to the neck, inquest hears

A dog walker mauled to death was killed by multiple dog bites to the neck, an inquest has heard.

Natasha Johnston died in Caterham from “multiple penetrating dog bites” and a wound to her jugular vein, an inquest opening into her death at Surrey Coroner’s Court has heard.

The 28-year-old, from London, was killed on January 12 as she walked several dogs in Gravelly Hill.

A second woman received treatment for dog bites she suffered in the attack.

Eight dogs - none of them banned breeds - were seized at the scene and remain in police custody as forensic investigations continue.

On Tuesday, Surrey Coroner’s Court was told Ms Johnston suffered shock and haemorrhage including a wound to her left jugular vein when she was attacked.

At the opening of an inquest into her death, coroner Simon Wickens expressed his “sincere condolences” to Ms Johnston’s family “and all those touched by her life”.

The coroner said on Tuesday: “A post-mortem examination was carried out at Royal Surrey County Hospital on 18 January.

Police at the scene in Gravelly Hill in Caterham, Surrey (PA Wire)
Police at the scene in Gravelly Hill in Caterham, Surrey (PA Wire)

“The medical cause of death (was) given as 1a) shock and haemorrhage including perforation of the left jugular vein, and in 1b) the pathologist places multiple penetrating dog bites to her neck.

“The reason for the inquest required is the nature of the traumatic injuries.”

Mr Wickens formally recognised the family of Ms Johnston, who was from Surrey, as interested persons in the proceedings.

“I offer Natasha’s family and indeed all those touched by her life my sincere condolences,” he said.

He fixed a date of June 29 for the inquest to begin but added that it could be subject to change.

A criminal investigation into the attack has been closed and no prosecutions are being brought against any individuals, Surrey Police said last week.

In a statement issued through police shortly after the attack, Ms Johnston’s family said they were enduring “an extremely difficult time” dealing with their sudden loss.