Jaywick dog attack: Family angry over conditions for keeping pets inside

  • By Rachael McMeaney and Nicola Hessler
  • BBC News, Essex

image source, Family handout

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Esther Martin’s family said she was the victim of what they believe was an XL vicious dog attack in the seaside village.

The family of a grandmother who died after being attacked by dogs have said they are outraged at the conditions in which the animals were kept.

Esther Martin, 68, was fatally injured inside a house in Jaywick, near Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, on Saturday afternoon.

Her son-in-law Ashley Warren, 39, was arrested on suspicion of dangerous dog offenses but has been released on conditional police bail until March.

“People complain about dogs; they’re not dogs”, his family said.

He added that Ms Martin was visiting her 11-year-old grandson at the time.

Essex Police said officers believe Mrs Martin was attacked by two dogs inside a property in Hillman Avenue, a seaside village.

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Ms Martin’s son-in-law Ashley Warren was arrested and released on conditional police bail.

Ms Martin’s daughter Sonia Martin, 47, claimed the animals were unregistered XL kittens.

She raised concerns that two adult dogs and a puppy were “locked up in a small chalet”.

“How can this be good for an animal?” added.

“We’re very angry. People complain about dogs; they’re not dogs.”

She said her mother, from Woodford Green, north-east London, was asked by the dogs’ owner to intervene with a broom when the puppies started fighting in the house.

He believed that his mother had been attacked at that time.

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WATCH: Victim’s daughter says neighbors in seaside village try to help

Sonia Martin told the BBC on Sunday He believed the animals were restricted to XL bully dogs, but police said it would take “a few days” to confirm the animal’s breed.

Acting Det Supt Stuart Truss said: “We are making good progress with the investigation into Esther’s death.

“This is an investigation with a number of complications, but we are committed to giving Esther’s family the answers they need.”

image source, Sean Whittemore/BBC

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Hillman Avenue was cordoned off while police investigated a fatal dog attack.

On Sunday, Ch Supt Glen Pavelin said the suspect’s relationship with Mrs Martin – a grandmother of eight and grandmother of three – was “familial”.

She said the family knew the dog’s owner had previously had to leave due to complaints from neighbors about the dogs.

Ms Martin added that the dog’s owner is a rapper who has previously used dogs in music videos.

Essex Police said: “A number of puppies were safely removed from the address and have received appropriate veterinary care.

“The puppies will form part of our investigation.”

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