Two dogs that attacked and killed grandmother 'were XL bullies'

Essex Police confirmed that the dogs, which were destroyed following the attack, were XL bullies.

Two dogs that attacked and killed grandmother Esther Martin were XL bullies, Essex Police confirm Essex Police

Two dogs that fatally attacked a grandmother were XL bullies, police have confirmed.

Esther Martin, 68, was killed at a house in Hillman Avenue, Jaywick, Essex, on Saturday.

She had reportedly tried to break up fighting puppies before she was attacked.

Two dogs were destroyed at the scene and they have now been confirmed to be XL bullies.

Chief Superintendent Stuart Weaver, of Essex Police, said: “I know there has been a huge amount of speculation about the breed and type of dog involved here, but it was really important we got that information right and established the facts.

“We owe it to Esther and her family to ensure we are thorough, professional and, above all, fair.

“XL bully is not a breed of dog in itself but a sub-category of the American bully and identifying categories of a breed can be a complex process.

“It requires a police-trained dog expert to examine the physical features of the dog against specific measurements, in line with the guidelines published by the Government.

“A forensic post-mortem was also carried out by a veterinary scientist and through this combination it was confirmed that the dogs were XL bullies.”

He said that detectives were making “good progress” in their investigation and officers were continuing to support Ms Martin’s family.

“I again want to express our thanks to the members of the public who bravely tried to save Esther before our officers arrived on scene,” added Mr Weaver.

“What you did was hugely courageous and a reflection of the values of the community of Jaywick.

“I also want to again praise the unflinching bravery and professionalism of the officers who attended and whose actions ensured the community was safe.”

A 39-year-old man who was arrested on suspicion of dangerous dog offences remains on bail until March 5.

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