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XL Bully dogs who mauled woman to death were ‘almost never walked and only let out in the garden’

21 May 2024, 10:50 | Updated: 21 May 2024, 10:53

A woman in her 50s was pronounced dead at the scene, police confirmed
A woman in her 50s was pronounced dead at the scene, police confirmed. Picture: LBC

By Helen Hoddinott, Kieran Kelly and Flaminia Luck

Two XL Bully dogs who mauled a woman to death in her own home were ‘almost never walked’ and ‘only ever seen by neighbours in their garden’.

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Armed police with riot shields were called to contain the pet XL Bully dogs after the deadly attack in east London on Monday afternoon.

One neighbour, who spoke to LBC on the condition of anonymity, said the dogs would often ‘bark late into the night’ and that she once had to complain about the noise.

She added that the XL Bullies were ‘never seen being walked by their owners’, while another woman said she warned her children not to near the dogs.

She told PA: "I said 'don't ever touch those dogs. They're dangerous'. I didn't see anything but I heard a lot of of barking and saw a lot of people outside."

Armed officers were called to an address in Cornwall Close, Hornchurch
Armed officers were called to an address in Cornwall Close, Hornchurch. Picture: LBC

Other neighbours said they were told by police to evacuate their properties at around 4pm on Monday as police blocked off the road.

"I came out of the house and looked to see what had happened. We hadn't heard anything but saw a helicopter overhead and loads of police," one neighbour told PA.  

"I stood by the road and saw a paramedic administering CPR. That poor woman. It's shocking."

Another woman said she heard barking during the incident and had previously warned her child about going near the XL bully dogs.  

She told the PA news agency: "I said 'don't ever touch those dogs. They're dangerous'.   

"I didn't see anything but I heard a lot of of barking and saw a lot of people outside."

The woman was treated by medics from the London Ambulance Service but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police confirmed that two dogs, which were registered, have been seized following the attack.

Two dogs have been seized by police
A sticker at the address reads "Never mind the dogs beware of the kids". Picture: LBC

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “Due to the threat posed, armed officers attended. After assessing the situation, officers were able to safely seize two dogs.

“These were registered XL Bully dogs and prior to officers’ arrival had been contained inside a room in the house.

“They did not leave the house at any time during the incident.

Read more: Mother and son jailed after boy, 8, mauled by XL Bully, suffering serious head injuries

“The family of the woman, who was the owner of the dogs, are being supported by officers.”

A neighbour walking her dogs nearby told LBC this morning: “It’s just horrific it’s awful.

“I don’t understand where these dogs came from, I’ve never seen them.

“I go every day with my dogs but I’ve never seen these ones. I’d notice these dogs because I’d avoid them.

“It’s horrible… so close to home.

“It’s a horrible, horrible, thing to happen.

"I still think it's got a lot to do with the owners to be fair. I do think people that have dogs should be able to train them, should be able to look after them properly.

“If these big dogs are in a house, not being ever walked, I think that’s got a lot to do with it.”

Another neighbour who lives a few doors down who did not want to be named told LBC that the residents kept to themselves and she believed they had been living at the property for about 18 months.

She said the dogs would be seen in the garden and would bark late into the night and she once had to go over and complain about the noise.

Multiple residents told LBC they had never seen the dogs out and about in the neighbourhood being walked on the street.

A London Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We were called at 1.09pm today (Monday 20) to reports of an incident in Cornwall Close, RM11.

“We sent resources to the scene including ambulance crews, an incident response officer and London’s air ambulance.

“We treated a person but sadly, despite our efforts, they were pronounced dead at the scene.”

One neighbour told the Mirror: “There’s been vans back and forth non-stop since lunchtime and we saw the helicopter come over and you assume the worst.

“Campion [a nearby school and sixth form college] isn’t far from here so you panic it’s kids or something. You never think a dog’s going to do that. It’s awful.”

It comes after a mother and son were jailed last week over an attack by their XL Bully on an eight-year-old boy.

Amanda Young, 49, was jailed for 20 months after admitting being the person in charge of a dog which caused injury while dangerously out of control in a public place.

Her son Lewis Young, 30, was given a two-year prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to being the owner of the dog.

Read more: Police seize 22 XL Bully dogs from illegal breeding farm in Sheffield in huge raid

From February 1, it has been a criminal offence to own an XL bully in England and Wales without a certificate.

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