HAMPSHIRE Constabulary has been slammed by a jury after a police dog attacked a pensioner who later died.

Thames Valley and Hampshire forces were criticised for selling the dog to Cleveland Police for £500 without fully disclosing that ‘Dano’ had already bitten ten people, including one in the face.

The family of pensioner Irene Collins, who died after she was repeatedly bitten by the dog Dano, have also spoken of their anger after the forces failed to highlight the animal’s violent history.

The 73-year-old was a much-loved grandmother who was attacked in her kitchen by the seven-stone German shepherd, which had been deployed to search her garden for a suspected drug dealer, the inquest heard.

She died days after suffering bites to her arm, leg and breast, and a broken arm at her home in 2014.

Dano’s handler PC Mark Baines had managed to get the dog to release Mrs Collins but it escaped his grasp after being taken into the hallway and returned to bite her leg.

Mrs Collins, picuted, of Penrith Gardens, Middlesbrough, needed an operation and made an initial good recovery, despite being terminally-ill with lung cancer, but then developed pneumonia and died four days later.

The inquest at Teesside Magistrates’ Court concluded that she died from natural causes “contributed to by the consequences of the dog bites while the dog was out of control”.

The panel said information “should have been shared as part of the transaction”.

Following the hearing, her son Eric Collins told told reporters: “I am very angry with the police. This has been a disgrace on their part.”

He paid tribute to his mother, saying: “She was the most gentle woman you could ever want to meet.”

Following the inquest, Assistant Chief Constable Dave Hardcastle, head of the Joint Operations Unit for Hampshire and Thames Valley, said: “Dano was previously a licensed police dog with the Joint Operations Unit (JOU).

“During this time, a number of biting incidents took place, which were reviewed and considered proportionate to an operational policing environment.

“The JOU will consider the findings of the coroner to establish whether any lessons can be learnt.

“Our thoughts remain with the family of Irene Collins.”

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) added PC Baines received a written warning after a misconduct hearing in November last year. No criminal charges were be brought.

Cleveland Police said since the attack it has altered its policy when acquiring dogs.