Man mauled to death by dog ‘died doing what he loved’ as he walked pet Rottweiler

A “beautiful-hearted” man was mauled to death by a dog while walking his beloved Rottweiler in a park.

Ian “Wiggy” Symes was locally named as the victim of the “brutal” attack at a recreation ground in Fareham, Hampshire on Wednesday morning.

His devastated family say he was walking his dog and had died “doing something he loved”.

Mr Symes, 34, died at the scene as Hampshire Police say they have arrested the 20-year-old suspected owner of the dog responsible

Touching images show how Mr Symes, from Fareham, as a dog-lover posed with two pet Rottweilers on social media.

His brother Martin has visited the park where flowers and messages have been placed on the field.

In tribute to his brother, who was known almost universally by the nickname ‘Wiggy’, Martin said: “The past 30 hours have been pretty shocking and very hard to really understand what happened and why.

“Thanks for all the messages and tributes for my brother. It’s very touching to see the flowers and messages left on the field.

“Crazy to think of all the memories I had playing football on that field and the laughs I had in the school just got wiped from the situation that happened.”

He added: “The facts are he was out walking a dog something he loved to do and as sad as it is least he passed away doing something he loved.

“I’m not overly religious but I do believe you go to a better place, and no doubt he’ll be up there already walking his dogs.

“Back with your babies AJ and Roxy and in the loving arms of Mum and Nan.”

Martin said people rushed to help his brother following the attack.

He said: “The people that were on the scene from the start should be very proud of how they reacted to the situation.

“They tried their best in a very bad situation something that no one should have to be put through.”

Pals have also paid tribute to the “gentle soul”.

Amie Chapman-Berry said: “So sad to hear of our beautiful-hearted Wiggy Symes passing.

“So many childhood memories with you Wig, the most loyal protector on earth. RIP angel. Thinking of all Wig’s family.”

Tracey Sherwood said: “One of life’s gentle souls.”

Tributes left at the scene paid fond tribute to Mr Symes.

One said: “Remembering the fondest memories of growing up together. It won’t be the same round here without you. Keep on strutting, lots of love.”

Another said: “Shine bright you beautiful human being. Fly high Wiggy.

“Always in my heart and never forgotten. All my love forever and a day.”

The man who was arrested on suspicion of being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control has been released but is still under investigation.

The attack happened at Fareham Park Recreation Ground by a residential road in the south coast town at around 10.30am on Wednesday, Hampshire police said.

A Hampshire Constabulary spokesman said: “We are speaking to people in the area and carrying out other lines of enquiry to establish how the man died.

“As part of our enquiries a 20-year-old man from Fareham has been arrested on suspicion of being the owner/person in charge of a dog dangerously out of control causing injury resulting in death.

“He has been released from custody without charge but remains under investigation while enquiries continue.”