Police tape
Liam Hewitson has died as the result of a pitbull terrier attack Getty

Liam Hewitson, 22 from Preston, Lancashire, died after suffering serious injuries after his girlfriend's pit bull terrier attacked him on New Year's Day. He was treated by a medical team at around 3.45pm, but died as the result of his wounds.

His girlfriend Jessica Hill said she was "devastated by her loss". The dog, called Tiger, was taken from the scene of the accident and put down by a vet.

"I'm too devastated to speak," Miss Hill told Mail Online. "I just love and miss him so much."

She also paid tribute to her partner on Facebook, posting pictures of them both together. According to earlier reports, it was thought that the pit bull was owned by Hewitson, but police later said they thought it belonged to his girlfriend.

Liam Hewitson and Jessica Hill
Jessica Hill posted pictures on Facebook in tribute of her boyfriend Liam Hewitson Facebook: Jessica Hill

One man, who said he was the victim's cousin, said Hewitson "had an epileptic fit" at the time of the attack, according to the Western Daily Press. Outside the house, friends and well-wishers left flowers, with two bouquets tied to a lamppost where a line of police cars were still parked.

On social media, a relative, Chantelle Hewitson wrote: "Rest In peace little cousin, so heartbreaking you with your beautiful mum now. Liam rest in paradise love you always xxxx".

Police are now conducting an inquiry into the death. Detective Inspector Jane Webb, from Preston CID, said: "This is a tragic incident in which a man has sadly died. Inquiries are ongoing to establish the exact circumstances and my thoughts very much remain with his family who are being supported by specially trained officers at this time."

More than 3,000 banned pit bull terrier-type dogs – which can include the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier – are believed to be in Britain. Greater London has the most pit bulls with 1,060, while Merseyside was next with 237, followed by Greater Manchester on 223, and the West Midlands at 161.