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XL bullies latest - Son pays tribute to mother killed in suspected dangerous dog attack

The son of a woman killed in a suspected XL bully attack has paid tribute to his mother who died while visiting her 11-year-old grandson over the weekend.

Police were called to an address in Jaywick, Essex, after 4pm on Saturday where officers found the victim, named by her family as Esther Martin, seriously injured.

The 68-year-old, from Woodford Green, London, was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.

Her son Paul Martin posted on Facebook: “Love you lots mum. Sleep tight and give Clare Louise a big hug from me love you both lots.

“Until we meet again. Your memory will live forever.”

It comes just days after it became a criminal offence to own an XL Bully, with all existing dogs required to wear a muzzle and be kept on a lead.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council said they had been informed that around 40,000 dog owners had registered their pets since the ban was announced by Rishi Sunak in September.

But the Met also warned as many as 10,000 of the animals could be without a certificate of exemption, which is now required under law.

Grandmother, 68, killed in suspected XL Bully attack

09:08 , Alexander Butler

A grandmother has died after being attacked by two dogs described as XL Bullies while visiting her 11-year-old grandson in Jaywick.

Essex Police were called to Hillman Avenue shortly after 4pm on Saturday where they found the victim, named by her family as Esther Martin, seriously injured.

The 68-year-old, from Woodford Green, London, was pronounced dead at the scene. The attack is thought to have involved two XL bully-type dogs.

Grandmother, 68, killed in dog attack while visiting grandson

Daughter describes suspected XL bully attack that killed her mum

10:08 , Athena Stavrou

A grandmother has died after being attacked by two dogs described as XL Bullies while visiting her 11-year-old grandson in Jaywick.

Essex Police were called to Hillman Avenue shortly after 4pm on Saturday where they found the victim, named by her family as Esther Martin, 68, seriously injured.

The victim’s daughter, Sonia Martin, from Chesterfield, told Mail Online: “They were XL bullies. There were eight of them in the house, six puppies and two adults.

“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.”

Suspect in relation to fatal dangerous dog attack bailed

10:37 , Athena Stavrou

A 39-year-old man arrested on suspicion of dangerous dog offences following the death of a 68-year-old grandmother has been released on conditional bail until March 5, Essex Police said.

The force said that investigations into the death of grandmother Esther Martin are continuing this morning and “making good progress”.

Esther died after being attacked by two dogs described as XL Bullies while visiting her 11-year-old grandson in Jaywick.

Acting Detective Superintendent Stuart Truss said: “We’re making good progress in our investigation into Esther’s death. It is an investigation with a number of complexities, but we are determined to give Esther’s family the answers they need.

He added: “We are working with experts to confirm the breed of the dogs. This may take some days but it’s really important we get it right.”

Watch: Daughter of woman killed in suspected XL bully dog attack pays tribute

10:49 , Athena Stavrou

The daughter of a woman who was killed after being attacked by two suspected XL bully dogs cried as she paid tribute to her.

Police were called to an address in Jaywick, Essex, after 4pm on Saturday where officers found the victim, named by her family as Esther Martin, seriously injured.

The 68-year-old, from Woodford Green, London, was pronounced dead at the scene. The attack is thought to have involved two XL bully-type dogs.

Ms Martin’s daughter Sonia Martin broke down in tears during a live interview with the BBC on Monday (5 February), as she paid tribute to her mother.

Grandma died trying to distract puppies from fighting, daughter says

11:04 , Athena Stavrou

The daughter of a grandmother who was killed in a suspected XL bully attack said she was killed while trying to distract the puppies from fighting.

Esther Martin was tragically killed in Jaywick, Essex on Saturday while visiting her grandson.

Her daughter, Sonia Martin told the BBC that she believes the 68-year-old was attacked while following instructions of the owner who was not present and told her to distract the puppies with a broom if they began fighting.

“The owner had left my mum with the dogs and my nephew and gone off somewhere even though my mum had raised concerns about them,” she said.

“His direction to my mum as we understand it was that if the puppies were fighting that she needed to put a broom in there and distract the puppies with the broom. Like run it over the floor and shake it to get the puppy’s attention so they stop fighting with each other and chase the broom.

“From our understanding, it was at this point my mum was attacked.”

 (Family handout)
(Family handout)

What is an XL bully dog?

11:27 , Athena Stavrou

An official definition of the breed published by the UK government, describes features of the breed including a “heavy, large and broad” head and a “blocky or slightly squared” muzzle.

The dog is a variant of the American bully dog. XL refers to their size, and there are four categories: pocket, standard, classic and XL, the last of which tend to be around 33-50cm in height and weigh in at 20-60kg.

The definition also classifies the height of an adult male dog being from 20in (51 cm) at the withers and an adult female being from 19in (48cm) at the withers.

It is also described as being “heavily muscled” with a “large, blocky body giving the impression of great power for size”, and a glossy, smooth and close coat.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Both dogs involved in fatal attack killed

12:20 , Athena Stavrou

Both dogs involved in the fatal dog attack that killed a 68-year-old grandma on Saturday were killed by police.

Essex Police confirmed the dogs had been “destroyed inside the house” after they were called to a house in Jaywick, near Clacton-on-Sea shortly after 4pm.

Speaking to the media yesterday, Chief Superintendent Glen Pavelin praised the actions of the responding officers and members of the public who tried to help.

“When Essex Police officers entered the house their priority was - as always - to keep the community safe,” he said.

“Their unflinching bravery and professionalism ensured that there is no ongoing threat to the people of Essex as a result of this incident. Both dogs were destroyed inside the house.”

One neighbour told the BBC they heard the police enter the property and destroy the dogs. Mike Coleman, 74, said he saw a man approaching the address and start shouting.

He said: “He starts whacking at the windows. He appeared panicked and said ‘phone the police’.

“My wife phoned them and minutes later the police came - two cars, then three then five, and then they blocked the road off.

“I heard the shots of them being destroyed, then that was it.”

Were the dogs involved in Saturday’s attack XL bullies?

12:35 , Athena Stavrou

A 68-year-old grandma was killed on Saturday while visiting her grandson in what is suspected to be an XL bully attack.

Police have not confirmed the breed of the dogs involved in Ester Martin’s death, but neighbours and her daughter have described the dogs as XL bullies - now a banned breed in the UK.

Police or dog experts can judge the type of dog, but this often takes some time.

Dog expert witness Colin Tennant said this is done with lists of characteristics, so it can be classed as a banned breed if it ticks the boxes, even if the dog is crossbred with a breed which is not banned.

Acting Detective Superintendent Stuart Truss from Essex Police said: “We are working with experts to confirm the breed of the dogs. This may take some days but it’s really important we get it right.

“I would ask people not to speculate about this element – we will establish the facts and we will keep the community in Jaywick updated.”

 (PA)
(PA)

What is the ban on XL bullies?

13:10 , Athena Stavrou

Following public pressure and several attacks involving XL bullies, the government enacted a ban on the breed which came into full effect on February 1.

From December 31 2023 it was illegal to breed, sell, advertise, exchange, gift, abandon or allow XL bully dogs to stray in England and Wales.

XL bullies must also now be kept on a lead and muzzled in public. The dogs must also be microchipped and neutered, with animals under a year old given until the end of 2024 to be neutered while older dogs must be neutered by June.

By 1 February 2024, owners were expected to have registered their XL bullies on the index of exempted dogs. From that date it will be illegal to own an XL bully that is not registered on the index.

Suspected XL bully victim was ‘getting life back together’ after daughter’s death

13:40 , Athena Stavrou

The victim of a suspected XL bully attack was “getting her life back together” following the death of her daughter two years ago when she was killed on Saturday.

Ester Martin, 68, was visiting her grandson in Jaywick, Essex when she was attacked by two dogs which have been described as XL bully-type dogs by her other daughter and neighbours.

Sonia Martin, 47, said her mother had worked at Tesco in Leyton, east London but had retired around the time of her daughter’s death and was beginning to get her “life back together”.

“She loved going out on day trips, the coaches were her favourite - she actually had a couple booked with one of her nieces,” she told the BBC.

What repercussions are there for people who illegally own an XL bully?

14:10 , Athena Stavrou

By 1 February 2024, owners were expected to have registered their XL bullies on the index of exempted dogs. It is now illegal to own an XL bully that is not registered on the index.

XL bully owners who fail to register their dogs on the index face a criminal record and an unlimited fine. Their dog could also be seized.

Under the Dangerous Dogs Act, people can be put in prison for up to 14 years, be disqualified from ownership or their dangerous dogs can be euthanised.

If an owner does not want to keep their dog, they have the option to have their dog put down by a vet, with the Government providing compensation of £200 for those who choose this option.

 (PA)
(PA)

Victim of suspected XL bully attack raised concerns previously, daughter says

14:59 , Athena Stavrou

The victim of a suspected XL bully fatal attack raised concerns previously to the owners of the dogs, her daughter has claimed.

Esther Martin, 68, was killed at a home in Jaywick, Essex on Saturday after reportedly trying to break up fighting puppies.

Her daughter, Sonia Martin, 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.”

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 said: “That’s when she was attacked.”

Son pays tribute to mother killed in suspected XL bully attack

15:13 , Athena Stavrou

The son of 68-year-old Esther Martin - who was killed by a suspected XL bully on Saturday - has paid tribute to his mother.

Paul Martin posted on social media: “Love you lots mum. Sleep tight and give Clare Louise a big hug from me love you both lots.

He added: “Until we meet again. Your memory will live forever.”

Essex police rushed to an address in Jaywick, near Clacton-on-Sea just after 4pm but could not save the retired Tesco worker.

Her daughter, Sonia Martin, previously paid tribute to her late mother and said she had raised concerns about the dogs previously.

What dog breeds are banned in the UK?

15:57 , Athena Stavrou

New rules for owning American XL bully dogs have been put in place in the UK after a spate of violent attacks across the country.

On 31 December 2023, it officially became illegal to sell, give away and breed from an XL Bully and as of February 1, owners have not been allowed to own an XL bully in England and Wales unless their dog has a valid Certificate of Exemption.

But what other breeds are banned in the UK? Here’s a list:

- American Bully

- Pitbull Terrier

- Japanese Tosa/ Japanese Mastiff

- Dogo Argentino

- Fila Brasileiro

Pitbull Terrier (Atlas Photography)
Pitbull Terrier (Atlas Photography)

Warning 10,000 unregistered XL bullies could be at large despite ban coming into force

17:00 , Athena Stavrou

As many as 10,000 XL bully dogs could be without a certificate of exemption, as the ban on the breed came into force on February 1.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council said they had been informed that around 40,000 dog owners had registered their pets since the ban was announced by Rishi Sunak in September.

However, one of the UK’s largest veterinary practitioners, IVC Evidensia, believes that there are an estimated 50,000 XL bullies in the country, while other animal welfare charities have placed the figure as high as 100,000.

This means that according to those figures, at least 10,000 dogs are still unregistered in the UK.

Full report: Grandmother, 68, killed in dog attack while visiting grandson

18:00 , Athena Stavrou

A grandmother has died after being attacked by two dogs described as XL Bullies while visiting her 11-year-old grandson in Jaywick.

Essex Police were called to Hillman Avenue shortly after 4pm on Saturday where they found the victim, named by her family as Esther Martin, seriously injured.

The 68-year-old, from Woodford Green, London, was pronounced dead at the scene. The attack is thought to have involved two XL bully-type dogs.

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

Police have bailed a 39-year-old man arrested on suspicion of dangerous dog offences following the tragic death.

Read the full report below:

Grandmother, 68, killed in dog attack while visiting grandson

Grandmother died trying to distract puppies from fighting, daughter says

19:00 , Athena Stavrou

The daughter of a grandmother who was killed in a suspected XL bully attack said she was killed while trying to distract the puppies from fighting.

Esther Martin was tragically killed in Jaywick, Essex on Saturday while visiting her grandson.

Her daughter, Sonia Martin told the BBC that she believes the 68-year-old was attacked while following instructions of the owner who was not present and told her to distract the puppies with a broom if they began fighting.

“The owner had left my mum with the dogs and my nephew and gone off somewhere even though my mum had raised concerns about them,” she said.

“His direction to my mum as we understand it was that if the puppies were fighting that she needed to put a broom in there and distract the puppies with the broom. Like run it over the floor and shake it to get the puppy’s attention so they stop fighting with each other and chase the broom.

“From our understanding, it was at this point my mum was attacked.”

Watch: Daughter of woman killed in suspected XL bully dog attack speaks pays tribute

20:00 , Athena Stavrou

The daughter of a woman who was killed after being attacked by two suspected XL bully dogs cried as she paid tribute to her.

Police were called to an address in Jaywick, Essex, after 4pm on Saturday where officers found the victim, named by her family as Esther Martin, seriously injured.

The 68-year-old, from Woodford Green, London, was pronounced dead at the scene. The attack is thought to have involved two XL bully-type dogs.

Ms Martin’s daughter Sonia Martin broke down in tears during a live interview with the BBC on Monday as she paid tribute to her mother.

What is an XL bully dog?

21:00 , Athena Stavrou

An official definition of the breed published by the UK government, describes features of the breed including a “heavy, large and broad” head and a “blocky or slightly squared” muzzle.

The dog is a variant of the American bully dog. XL refers to their size, and there are four categories: pocket, standard, classic and XL, the last of which tend to be around 33-50cm in height and weigh in at 20-60kg.

The definition also classifies the height of an adult male dog being from 20in (51 cm) at the withers and an adult female being from 19in (48cm) at the withers.

It is also described as being “heavily muscled” with a “large, blocky body giving the impression of great power for size”, and a glossy, smooth and close coat.

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)