Grandmother, Esther Martin mauled to death by two suspected XL Bully dogs three days after ban on breed

A pensioner has died after being assaulted by two suspected XL bullies while visiting her grandson.

Esther Martin, 68, was found seriously injured after she is believed to have been attacked by two of the now banned breed, at a property in Jaywick Sands, near Clacton-on-Sea, at around 4pm yesterday.

A 39-year-old man from Jaywick, who is said to have kept eight dogs, was arrested on suspicion of dangerous dogs offences and remains in custody.

Essex Police said officers were called to a property in Hillman Avenue shortly after 4pm on Saturday where they found a woman seriously injured.

Officers believe she was attacked by two dogs and the animals were later destroyed, the force said.

Mrs Martin died at the scene and Essex Police said it was trying to establish the circumstances which led to the incident, but added there was no wider threat to the community.

Police at the scene were a woman was attacked and killed by two dogs

Chief Superintendent Glen Pavelin said: “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.”

XL Bullies, which have been blamed for a rise in dog attacks, were banned last week and it is a criminal offence to own one of the dogs in England and Wales without a certificate.

Owners will also have to follow a strict set of rules around their care, including having them neutered, keeping them on a lead and muzzling them in public.

As the deadline passed, around 40,000 people had complied with the legislation and had formally registered their animals with the Department for Food and Rural Affairs.

Kelly Fretwell, one of the victim’s daughters, said the dogs involved in the attack were XL Bullies.

There were eight XL bullies present in the house, six puppies and the two adults who attacked the victim, when her mother was left there alone, she said.

All eight dogs were owned by the man in custody and Ms Fretwell said her mother was visiting the area to see her 11-year-old grandson.

She was amazing,” Ms Fretwell said. “She was retired and trying to bring her life back on track after the passing of my sister two years ago”

The family say that although the attack had taken place around 4pm they did not find out what had happened until ten o’clock that night when police arrived at their front door.

She said: “This is a very distressing time for our family. If someone knocked on your door at night to say that your mum had been mauled to death, would you believe them?”

“There could have been two victims, my nephew has not only lost his mum and grandmother but he had to witness all this violence. He could have been killed as well.”

Culled from The Telegraph