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Two film crew questioned after man was killed by his dog in front of them

Two filmmakers working on a BBC documentary were interviewed under police caution after a man was killed by his Staffordshire bull terrier in north London.

The victim, named locally as Mario Perivoitos, was bitten by his dog at his home in Norman Close, Wood Green, and later died from his injuries.

Police were called at around 10.25pm on March 20 and the 41-year-old was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead early on March 21.

The BBC confirmed a film crew had been present and had phoned an ambulance during the attack, but declined to say if the documentary makers were BBC employees.

A BBC spokesman said: "A crew making a BBC documentary were present - but not filming - at the time of the incident and called an ambulance.

"Given the ongoing inquiries, it would not be appropriate to comment further."

It is believed the filmmakers were questioned over an alleged breach of an antisocial behaviour closure order banning anyone other than the resident from entering the property, which was due to expire in May.

A police spokesman said: "A film crew making a documentary were present during the incident and called the London Ambulance Service.

"A man in his 20s and a woman in her 30s were interviewed under caution on Tuesday 28 March having voluntarily attended a north London police station as part of police enquires about the wider circumstances of the incident.

"They were not arrested.

"The property in Norman Close had been subject to complaints from local residents due to anti-social behaviour related to drugs use.

"Police executed a warrant on 28 December under the Misuse of Drugs Act. There were several people inside the address and evidence of drugs use; no arrests were made."

The spokesman confirmed that no further action would be taken by police.

He said: "The closure order was obtained to prevent other people taking drugs and causing anti-social behaviour inside the property; it is clear third parties at the address on 20 March were not there for those purposes and therefore it would not be in the public interest to pursue the matter further."

The dog, which is not a banned breed, was seized by police and remains in secure kennels.

Another neighbour, who did not want to be named, said she believed the dog had saved Mr Perivoitos from a seizure earlier this year.

She said: "I heard he had a seizure and the dog apparently saved him.

"It was about two or three months back.

"He wasn't a bad person, but he was just a bit of a nuisance."

The neighbour, who named the dog as Major, said she had been surprised to hear the dog had been involved in the incident.

She said: "I was a bit shocked when they said it was the dog.

"To be honest, there was a bit of shouting before that.

"The barking was going on for a good time and the police were banging down the door.

"He had blood coming down his face.

"The police knocked on the door and said the dog had killed him."

Avraam Avramidis, 31, who lived upstairs, said Mr Perivoitos had seemed polite.

He said: "For me, Mario was a good guy. He was actually very clever."

Mr Avramidis, who has lived in the apartment for seven months, said Mr Perivoitos's behaviour had declined about three months before the incident, as more and more people started visiting him at home.

He said: "Usually when the people were coming to his flat, they were sometimes fighting. There were a lot of people coming."

Two neighbours, who also did not want to be named, said Mr Perivoitos had previously lived in the apartment with his mother.

A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as "hypovolemic shock and damage to the airway consistent with a dog bite", the Metropolitan Police said.

Hypovolemic shock occurs when the body loses more than a fifth of its blood.

A neighbour of Mr Perivoitos, Harry Charitou, 27, said he heard a woman and a man talking in the flat around the time of the incident.

He said: "They were quite well spoken and I didn't think they were trouble."

Mr Charitou said he believed the man had been trapped in the flat with the visitors for over half an hour before the police managed to force entry.

He said: "I went downstairs and they were trying to get out but they couldn't get out, and he was trying to get out as well.

"He was going, 'help me, I need to get out!'

"Eventually another neighbour had a crowbar - they had to pull out the door."


From Belfast Telegraph