The daughter of Esther Martin, 68, has said she died after using a broom to try and break up two suspected XL Bully breed dogs who they were fighting at a home in Jaywick, Essex
A beloved grandma who was savaged to death by two “XL bully” dogs in Essex had attempted to break up fighting puppies with a broom, her daughter has said.
Esther Martin, 68, from Woodford Green in London, died at a property in Hillman Avenue in Jaywick on Saturday afternoon following an attack by what have been described as XL bully breed dogs. Police arrived “within minutes”, but despite the efforts of six officers as well as by members of the public, Ms Martin – who was visiting her 11-year-old grandson – died at the scene.
Neighbours have described hearing “horrific” screaming from the property lasting 10 minutes. Esther’s daughter Kelly Fretwell has told to the Mirror that 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.
The man whose dogs mauled his mother-in-law to death has meanwhile been named as Ashley Warren, a wannabe rapper who goes by the name Wyless Man.
Police have confirmed a 39-year-old man from Jaywick was arrested on suspicion of dangerous dogs offences and remains in custody. Chief Superintendent Glen Pavelin, of Essex Police, told reporters outside Clacton police station there was a “familial relationship” between the victim and the 39-year-old man arrested. He said: “I want to express my condolences to her family and friends, and we’ve got specially-trained officers supporting them.”
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. Ms Martin, of Chesterfield, Derbyshire, said that her mother 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.” 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.”
Ms Martin said that her mother, who was retired but had worked at a Tesco store, had been “getting her life back together” following the death of another daughter two years ago. She added: ”It’s killed our mum and it’s killed our children’s grandmother. I’m getting married in a couple of years and my mum won’t be at that.”
Mike Coleman, 74, who lives a few doors down, said he saw a man come down the road to the address and start shouting. He said: “He is really shouting and hallowing, he was really, really loud. Then he starts whacking at the windows. He appeared panicked. He said ‘phone the police’. My wife phoned them but they said they had someone else on the phone. 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.”
His wife Julie Coleman, 67, said: “When I went down to see what was going on, he said there was a lady inside the property who was being attacked by two dogs. He said he had got a phone call to go and check on this lady. He was very stressed, very agitated, very verbal and quite concerned. He was hallowing and shouting ‘they’re XL bullies’, but I just don’t know (what breed they were).”