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Man arrested after grandmother savaged by two dogs released on bail

A 39-year-old man arrested after a grandmother was fatally attacked by two dogs has been released on bail.

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

She had been visiting her 11-year-old grandson when the tragedy occurred, with neighbours describing “horrific” screaming.

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.

However, Acting Detective Superintendent Stuart Truss from Essex Police said investigators are working with experts to confirm the breed of the dogs.

Police arrived “within minutes”, but despite the efforts of six officers as well as by members of the public, Ms Martin died at the scene.

Dog attack in Jaywick
Esther Martin who died in Essex on Saturday. (Essex Police/PA)

The 39-year-old man arrested on suspicion of dangerous dog offences, who detectives said has a familial relationship with the victim, has been released on conditional bail until March 5.

In a statement released on Monday, Mr 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.

“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.”

He added: “We’re continuing to support Esther’s family. They have asked to be able to grieve in peace”.

POLICE Jaywick
(PA Graphics)

Ms Martin, of Chesterfield, Derbyshire, told the BBC that her mother had previously expressed concerns about the “dangerous and aggressive dogs”.

She told the broadcaster: “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.”

Essex Police have set up an online portal for witnesses to send in information about what happened https://mipp.police.uk/operation/4201020123Q81-PO1