XL Bully dog attack – latest: Woman killed by two dogs in Hornchurch named as neighbours feared for their children

XL Bully dog attack – latest: Woman killed by two dogs in Hornchurch named as neighbours feared for their children

Rishi Sunak explains why the XL Bully dog was added to the banned breeds under the Dangerous Dogs Act earlier this year

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A woman killed by her XL Bully dogs at her house in east London has been named locally as Angeline Mahal.

Ms Mahal, believed to be in her 50s, was attacked by her two dogs at the semi-detached home in Cornwall Close in Hornchurch just after 1pm on Monday.

Armed police attended the scene and told neighbours in the cul-de-sac to stay indoors before the area was evacuated shortly after 4pm.

Despite London Ambulance Service sending paramedics and a helicopter, the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

On Tuesday afternoon, Ms Mahal was named locally, as His Majesty’s Coroners East London confirmed they had been made aware of her death.

Both dogs were registered as exempt from the government’s ban on XL Bully dogs, which came in on 1 February.

Under the agreement for having a dog exempt, owners must have had the animal neutered, have it microchipped and keep it muzzled and on a lead in public.

But one neighbour, Sejal Solanki, said she had warned her child about going near the dogs.

She said: “I said ‘Don’t ever touch those dogs. They’re dangerous’.”

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Key Points

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Dogs were contained in a room before officers arrived, police say

The dogs had been contained in a room before police arrived at the property in Hornchurch, the Metropolitan Police said.

A spokesperson said: “Due to the threat posed, armed officers attended. After assessing the situation, officers were able to safely seize two dogs.

“These were registered XL Bully dogs and prior to officers’ arrival had been contained inside a room in the house. They did not leave the house at any time during the incident.

“The family of the woman, who was the owner of the dogs, are being supported by officers.”

Andy Gregory21 May 2024 07:32


Latest fatal attack is 16th in UK since November 2021, campaigners warn

The death of a woman in her 50s in east London marks the 16th person to be killed by an XL Bully or XL Bully cross in the UK since November 2021, accordig to the campaign group Bully Watch, which compiles evidence of attacks by the dogs.

“Since we launched our campaign in July 2023, out of the 5 subsequent fatalities to dogs, 4 were caused by XL Bullies,” the group wrote on X/Twitter.

Andy Gregory21 May 2024 07:36


Fatal dog attacks have surged to a record high – and why?

There were 16 deaths by dog bites recorded in 2023, more than double the six fatalities in 2022. Between 1991 and 2021, the number never went above five, according to data from the Office for National Statistics.

The overall number of dog attacks has also soared. Figures obtained by The Independent from police forces in England and Wales show there has been an almost 60 per cent rise in the last five years.

Alex Ross21 May 2024 08:09


Dogs were two of 55,000 XL Bully dogs registered after ban

To keep an XL Bully dog after 1 February, owners had to register them with Defra.

By registering the dogs, owners compley with rules including having them microchipped, kept on a lead and muzzled when in public and, to ensure these dogs cannot continue breeding, they must also be neutered.

In February, Environment Secretary Steve Barclay said: “The ban on XL Bullies is now in place meaning it is illegal to own one of these dogs unless it has been registered.

“We have delivered our pledge to bring in this important measure to protect public safety, and we expect all XL Bully owners to comply with the strict conditions.”

Alex Ross21 May 2024 08:20


Breeds banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act

Rishi Sunak brought forward a ban on XL Bullys after a series of high profile attacks.

The breed joined four others that are banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act. They are American pitbull terriers, Japanese tosas, dogo Argentinos and fila Brasileiros.

Critics say legislation should not target the breed, but the owners.

Conservative MP Sir Christopher Chope said the ban on XL Bullys was one of the worst pieces of legislation brought forward by the government, describing it as a knee-jerk reaction to newspaper headlines.

Alex Ross21 May 2024 08:30


‘You never think a dog will do that’

The fatal dog attack took place in Cornwall Close, near Essex Gardens where residents brought out cups of tea and coffee to police officers who attended following the attack on Monday

One told the Mirror: “The dogs weren’t killed, they’ve taken them away.

“There’s been vans back and forth non-stop since lunchtime and we saw the helicopter come over and you assume the worst. Campion [a nearby school and sixth form college] isn’t far from here so you panic it’s kids or something. You never think a dog’s going to do that. It’s awful.”

Alex Ross21 May 2024 08:40


Where the attack took place

Cornwall Close is in Havering, in Hornchurch. It is located next to the A127 on the outskirts of the borough.

Alex Ross21 May 2024 08:50


Scene this morning

Pictures from the scene this morning show the woman’s semi-detached home taped off with a blue forensic tent set up at the front porch.

Meanwhile, people in local social media groups have paying their respects.

One person wrote: “Thinking of the family and how they must be in such a state of shock.”

Alex Ross21 May 2024 09:00


Ambulance service issues statement

A London Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We sent resources to the scene including ambulance crews, an incident response officer and London’s air ambulance.

“We treated a person but sadly, despite our efforts, they were pronounced dead at the scene.”

Alex Ross21 May 2024 09:10


More reaction from neighbours

Neighbours have been speaking to reporters at the scene this morning.

One walking her dogs told LBC: “I don’t understand where these dogs came from, I’ve never seen them. I go every day with my dogs but I’ve never seen these ones. I’d notice these dogs because I’d avoid them.

“It’s horrible… so close to home. It’s a horrible, horrible, thing to happen.

Another told the outlet that she saw the dogs in the garden and that they would bark late into the night.

Alex Ross21 May 2024 09:30


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