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Man, 34, arrested over dog death

The man believed to be the owner of the dog which mauled to death a woman at her home has been arrested, police said.

Alex Blackburn-Smith had been urgently sought by police following the victim's death on Thursday night at a house on Demesne Road, Wallington, south London. She was named locally as Barbara Williams.

The Belgian mastiff, described by one officer as large and ferocious, was shot dead by police marksmen.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "A 34-year-old man has this evening attended a south London police station and has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and suspicion of cultivating cannabis."

Sources confirmed that the arrested man was Blackburn-Smith.

The Metropolitan Police spokesman said the victim was thought to be aged in her 50s.

He said: "A post-mortem will be scheduled in due course. We await next of kin, and formal identification.

"An inquest will open and adjourn in due course. Armed police destroyed the dog - believed to be a Belgian mastiff - and one puppy has been removed from the property.

"Detectives from Sutton borough are investigating."

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