County news: Dog attack in Kenya claims Horsham woman’s life

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A woman from Horsham has died after being attacked by three Rottweiler dogs at the beachside home of her Kenyan husband, it has been reported.

Elizabeth Claire Wright, 55, a teaching administrator, was visiting her husband Fred Karisa, 31, at his home in the fishing village of Watamu, on the Indian Ocean coast, when the attack happened on August 18, national media have reported.

Police believe she heard the dogs barking and let them out of their cage to feed them but was set on instead.

Mr Karisa told police he had warned his wife not to approach the dogs before leaving for a day trip to the nearby city of Mombasa. He said he returned to find her body part-eaten by the dogs.

The Telegraph newspaper reported that Mrs Wright’s mother Janet said that her daughter had previously lived with Mr Karisa in Kenya but had opted to return home to live with her parents in the family’s cottage near Horsham.

“We just don’t know what happened and I don’t think we ever will know,” Mrs Wright, 77, told The Telegraph.

“We have heard nothing from the Kenyan police, just the Surrey coroner. If we did pursue it, I think it would just cause us more grief. At the moment, it’s closure.”

Mrs Wright, known by friends as Liz, had worked as the personal assistant to the principal of St Joseph’s special needs school at Cranleigh, Surrey, for the past five years.

A tribute posted on the school’s website said she would be remembered for her “happy, kind and generous nature”.

“She touched the hearts of colleagues, learners and families in equal measure and will be hugely missed by the whole St Joseph’s community,” it said.

The school said it had opened a condolence book at its chapel where reflections or memories of Liz Wright could be recorded. The school said thoughts could also be emailed to condolences@st-josephscranleigh.surrey.sch.uk and these will transferred to the condolence book.

The Telegraph reported that Douglas Kanja, the police commander for Kilifi County, said there was ‘no foul play’ and no arrests and the case had been referred to a coroner.

“The death is subject to an inquest. The investigations have been completed and file sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions for the inquest to be opened,” he said.

“The outcome of our investigation on the cause of the death is that she died from a serious dog bite.”

He said Mr Karisa told police he had been warned his wife not to approach the dogs before he left for Mombasa. “She was in the house when she heard them barking and thought they were hungry and needed some food,” Mr Kanja said.

“The dogs mauled her to death when opened the cage to feed them.

“When Karisa arrived at his house, he found the dogs feeding on the body before he caged them.”

Mrs Wright had arrived in Kenya on August 6 and was due to return to the UK on August 21, according to police.

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