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Gran killed by suspected XL bully while visiting her grandson

Gran killed by suspected XL bully while visiting her grandson

The 68-year-old had been trying to break up fighting puppies

A grandmother has been mauled to death by suspected XL bully dogs while visiting her young grandson.

The fatal incident happened while she was trying to break up a fight between puppies, her family has said.

Esther Martin, 68, was attacked in Essex on Saturday afternoon (3 February). Onlookers said the dogs that went for her looked like the banned XL bully breed.

Esther Martin.
Family Handout

Martin, from Woodford Green, London, had been a property in Hillman Avenue, in Jaywick, to visit her 11-year-old grandson.

Six police officers had arrived 'within minutes' but despite their efforts she passed away at the scene. Both dogs were destroyed at the scene.

Neighbours have described hearing 'horrific' screaming from the property lasting 10 minutes.

Chief Superintendent Glen Pavelin, of Essex Police, told reporters outside Clacton police station there was a 'familial relationship' between the victim and a 39-year-old man arrested on suspicion of dangerous dog offences.

He said: “I want to express my condolences to her family and friends, and we’ve got specially-trained officers supporting them.”

The police cordon in Hillman Avenue, Jaywick, Essex, after a 68-year-old was savaged to death by two dogs.
Gwyn Wright/PA Wire

The victim’s daughter, Sonia Martin, has said the dogs were of the XL bully breed - which was banned at the start of this month - with a total of six puppies and two adults in the property.

Lucy Shaw, 38, who lives in a property behind the address, told PA that she heard screaming for about 10 minutes.

She said: “We went out into the garden and it was all quiet and then we heard dogs barking, and then we heard someone screaming.

“It seemed like the screaming of a child. That went on for about 10 minutes. We went back in after a while because it sounded horrific.”

Sonia, from Chesterfield, said that her mum had previously expressed concerns about the 'dangerous and aggressive dogs'.

She told the BBC: “There were adult XL bully dogs in the property, and my mum had raised concerns to the owners about them being dangerous and quite aggressive.

"There were also six puppies.”

Stock image of an XL bully.
iStock / Getty Images Plus

She said she had been informed that the puppies had started fighting and her mother had been told by the dogs’ owner to 'put a broom in among them, to distract them'.

She added: “That’s when she was attacked.”

Paying tribute to officers and local residents, Pavelin said: “When six police officers entered the house, their priority was, as always, to keep their community safe.

“Their unflinching bravery and professionalism ensured that there is no ongoing threat to the people of Essex, both dogs were destroyed inside the house.

“I would also like to thank local people who tried to get into the house to help Esther Martin, you should be proud.”

Pavelin declined to comment on the breed of the dogs which had been destroyed by officers.

The police cordon in Essex.
Gwyn Wright/PA Wire

He said: “I know there is speculation about the breed of the dogs involved and we are working with experts to establish this.

“I would ask you not to speculate, we will establish the facts and we will keep the community of Jaywick updated.”

Pavelin said the suspect, who is from Jaywick, remained in custody for questioning as of Sunday (4 February).

LADbible has contacted Essex Police for further updates.

Featured Image Credit: Gwyn Wright/PA Wire/Alexandre Bauer/Getty Stock Images

Topics: Dogs, Crime, UK News, London