Mum mauled to death after XL Bully dog that’s ‘bigger than a lion’ suddenly ‘snapped’

Pictures have been released of a woman mauled to death by her own dog in a brutal attack which almost killed her partner.

The victim, 43-year-old mum-of-two Joanne Robinson, was attacked in her home by one of the family’s two American Bully XL dogs.

She is understood to have been pinned down by the jaws of the pet, named Rocco, after coming home from a night out.

Her partner, Jamie Stead, 42, suffered devastating injuries to his face, hands and chest as he tried to pull the animal away from her and is still recovering in hospital.

He has reportedly undergone skin grafting for the potentially life-changing injuries.

Joanne was earlier described as a “beautiful angel” by her friends in tributes left near her home in West Melton, near Rotherham, South Yorkshire.

Pictures of the tragic animal owner have now been released following the fatal attack as police in Rotherham took the dogs away.

The house has been cordoned off as forensic examinations get underway.

One tribute read: “To our beautiful angel up above. You will never be forgotten. Love you always.”

Joanne’s heartbroken mum, Dotty Robinson, speaking outside the family home, said: “I am in total disbelief and shock. I just hope it was quick and that she didn’t suffer too much.”

Dotty urged dog owners to be extra vigilant of their pets during the UK’s blistering heatwave.

She pleaded: “Try to keep your dogs cool. Keep them inside and give them plenty of water. The heat affects them too.”

A warning sign on the front wall of her daughter’s house states: “Beware of dog.”

She said of popular Joanne, a former worker with disabled people: “I want everyone to know how well loved she was. She was born and bred in this village. They all know her and love her.”

Dotty told how Rocco – who was nearly two and his two-year-old mate, Bully XL bitch Lola – were both seized by police.

Speaking about the family’s horrendous ordeal, the gran of nine, supported by other members, told how her daughter and partner had had the dogs since puppies.

She said: “They were good dogs, they are not a banned breed and were not dangerous. They were not related but they got on well together. I don’t know why they suddenly snapped.

“I can only think they turned mad in the extreme heat. It must have set them off.

“Rocco’s a big dog, he’s bigger than a lion.” Her tearful granddaughter added: “He was like a small horse.”

Dotty, a mum of three who lives nearby, said: “They’ve had the dogs since they were puppies. They were no trouble.

She re-emphasised: “It must have been the heat. There’s a saying about mad dogs going out in the midday sun.”

Dotty, reliving the horror, told how her daughter has been to visit a friend and had walked back into the house about 10pm.

She explained: “She was downstairs and suddenly Rocco attacked her, it got her, I think it was around the throat.

“Lola was going mad, she was trying to be protective and Steady, Joanne’s partner but we call him her husband, tried to save her.

“He was trying to get Lola out of the room, he had no choice but to get her out and during that time Rocco attacked.”

Neighbours had told how they had heard piercing screams coming from the top of the road.

Dotty continued: “I’m hoping it was quick. I can’t bear to think of her suffering. I think she was grabbed around the throat but we haven’t had the results of the post mortem yet. They are due today.”

Jamie, who runs a company making blinds, suffered injuries to his face, both arms, his stomach and has undergone skin grafting.

Dotty said: “He’s hoping to come home from hospital today but he is still in much pain.

“He knows Joanna has gone and is absolutely devastated as we all are. We will miss her so much.

“He’s had a horrible ordeal. He’s lost his partner of twenty years and his dogs.”

South Yorkshire Police said: “We were called to a property on Masefield Road in West Melton last night around 10:15 pm when a member of the public stated that a dog had attacked him and a woman.

“Officers arrived with the Yorkshire Ambulance Brigade and found a 42-year-old man with a potentially life-threatening injury to one arm, as well as injuries to the other arm, abdomen and face.

“A 43-year-old woman was mortally bitten, and, despite the best efforts of the rescuers, she was sadly pronounced dead on the spot.”

Joanne’s death comes after an attack in March by an American Bully XL which killed 17-month-old Bella-Rae Birch, in her St Helens, Merseyside, home.

Police said the toddler was attacked a week after the family bought the dog.

Her mum Treysharn, said: “On March 21, we sadly lost our gorgeous blue-eyed baby girl, who was just one year of age, in a tragic sudden accident.”

Last month it was reported a Bully XL named Beast mauled to death schoolboy Jack Lis, 10, in Wales last year.

Beast had earlier been captured on CCTV in the days before the incident jumping up and attempting to bite people in the street, a crown court later heard.

American Bully XLs are not a banned breed in the UK.