Grandmother mauled to death by two 'unregistered XL Bullies' in Essex as man, 39, arrested

4 February 2024, 09:07 | Updated: 4 February 2024, 12:08

A woman has died after being attacked by two dogs in Essex
A woman has died after being attacked by two dogs in Essex. Picture: Essex Police

By Will Taylor

A grandmother has been killed after being attacked by two dogs in Essex.

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Esther Martin, 68, was visiting her 11-year-old grandson when she was attacked by two pets her daughter said were now-banned XL Bullies.

A man has been arrested after the tragedy in Jaywick on Saturday afternoon.

Officers rushed to the scene in Hillman Avenue at about 4pm and found her seriously injured. She died at the scene.

Essex Police said detectives believe she was attacked by two dogs, who have been destroyed. The force did not reveal the breed.

But Sonia Martin said her mother, from Woodford Green in London, was attacked by XL Bullies and had previously told their owner they were dangerous.

Read more: XL Bully owner says lack of checks on banned breed risks granting ‘out of control’ dogs exemption certificate

Ms Martin was mauled to death by two dogs
Ms Martin was mauled to death by two dogs. Picture: Handout
XL Bullies are now banned with strict conditions in England and Wales
XL Bullies are now banned with strict conditions in England and Wales. Picture: Alamy

Sonia Martin told MailOnline: "They were XL Bullies. There were eight of them in the house, six puppies and two adults. None of them neutered, not registered.

"The owner's words were "no one is going to tell me what to do with my own f*****g dogs."

"Mum had raised concerns about the dogs, over their breed and their temperament.

"Her grandson was in the house. He came running out shouting for help.

"We would like to thank all the neighbours who tried to help our mum."

Police found the grandmother seriously injured and she died at the scene
Police found the grandmother seriously injured and she died at the scene. Picture: Essex Police

Police have arrested a 39-year-old man on suspicion of dangerous dog offences.

Essex Police's Chief Superintendent Glen Pavelin said: "My thoughts, and those of our officers and staff, are with the family of the woman who died yesterday.

"This incident will be a huge shock to the community and I understand their concerns.

"We’ll have officers in the area throughout today so please come and speak to them if you have any information or are worried.

Read more: Fears more than 10,000 XL Bullies still unregistered as ban on dangerous breed kicks in

"Experienced detectives are leading the investigation to identify exactly what has happened.

"I know there will be speculation about the breed of the dogs involved. We’re waiting for confirmation from experts about this before releasing further details and I’d ask people not to speculate.

"If anyone has any information about what has happened please contact us."

Police asked witness or those with CCTV or dashcam footage to get in touch using incident reference 723 of 3 February.

A spate of deadly attacks led to XL Bullies being banned.

Owners need a certificate of exemption to keep their pets in England and Wales, and that comes with a raft of conditions.

The dogs have to be neutered, kept on a lead and muzzled when in public, and securely kept so they cannot escape.

There have been fears that as many as 10,000 XL Bullies could still be unregistered after the ban kicked in.

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