Woman dies after being mauled by ‘XL bully’ dogs – as police praise bravery of people who tried to save her

A woman has died after being mauled by two dogs and a man has been arrested, police have said.

Essex officers were called to Hillman Avenue, Jaywick, shortly after 4pm on Saturday where they found the victim seriously injured.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Pic: Essex Police
A man has been detained on suspicion of dangerous dog offences. Pic: Essex Police

To secure the area and ensure there was no risk to the wider public, both animals were destroyed.

A 39 year-old man from Jaywick has been detained on suspicion of dangerous dog offences and remains in custody.

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.

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

“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.”

Although the breed involved is yet to be established, the attack comes just days after a ban on XL bully type dogs came into force, meaning it is now a criminal offence to own one in England and Wales without an exemption certificate.

Unregistered pets can be seized and owners fined and prosecuted.

Around 40,000 of the large bulldog-type American breed are believed to have been registered before Wednesday’s deadline, but there may be thousands more without certificates.

The ban on XL bully dogs was introduced after a spate of attacks in recent years involving the breed.

The breed was added to the Dangerous Dogs Act on 31 October last year when restrictions came into force dictating the dogs must be kept on a lead and muzzled in public.

Breeding, selling or abandoning the dogs also became illegal as of 31 December 2023.

Owners of XL bully dogs in Scotland will also be subject at a later date to the safeguards after the Scottish government replicated legislation in place south of the border.

A decision on whether to add to the list of banned breeds in Northern Ireland is for locally elected ministers and is yet to be made.

People with dangerously out-of-control dogs can be jailed for up to 14 years and banned from owning animals, and their pets can be put down.

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