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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Anthony France and John Dunne

XL Bully attack: First picture of mother mauled to death by pet dogs at east London house

Armed police with riot shields were scrambled to an east London house where a mother was mauled to death by her two XL Bully dogs.

Officers seized the dogs after the victim, named locally as Angeline Mahal, was savaged inside the house in Hornchurch.

The alarm was raised at just before 1pm on Monday and Ms Mahal, who was aged in her 50s, was later pronounced dead at the scene.

Neighbours said the dogs were taken away from the property in Cornwall Close and not shot despite the fatal attack.

A neighbour described how two of the woman’s sons returned home to find their mother fatally injured.

He told the Standard: “Two of her boys returned home and she had been attacked.

“It was too late for her … imagine coming home to that. It’s a tragedy, they were too late.

“She was a really nice lady and it’s tragic. I heard she lay there injured for some hours before her sons found her. I called her Ange - she was a gentle person who was quiet and humble. We are all reeling from this. It’s just so sad. Why anyone would have these dogs is a mystery to me.

“We didn’t see the dogs much but you could hear them barking, they were very loud but there had been no complaints, police there...anything like that before that I’m aware of.

“We are all just in shock. I pray her boys can recover from this but how do you make peace with finding your mother like that? They were out and came back to that horrific scene. Our thoughts are with the family.”

The victim of the dog attack has been named locally as Angeline Mahal

One woman said she heard barking during the incident and had previously warned her child about going near the XL bully dogs.

She told the PA news agency: “I said ‘don’t ever touch those dogs. They’re dangerous’.

“I didn’t see anything but I heard a lot of of barking and saw a lot of people outside.”

Neighbours described seeing paramedics administer CPR to the victim in her front garden.

A woman who has asked to remain anonymous said: “I came out of the house and looked to see what had happened. We hadn’t heard anything but saw a helicopter overhead and loads of police.

“I stood by the road and saw a paramedic administering CPR. That poor woman. It’s shocking.”

Another told the Mirror: “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.”

The incident is understood to be first fatal attack involving registered XL Bully dogs since fresh restrictions on the breed came into force on February 1. The dogs were legally registered, police confirmed.

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

Neighbours saw paramedics performing CPR in the garden (William Warnes/PA Wire)

“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.”

“A woman in her 50s has died after an incident inside a house in Hornchurch.

“Police were called to Cornwall Close around 1.12pm on Monday, May 20, to reports of a woman attacked by a dog.

“The woman was treated by medics from London Ambulance Service, but sadly she was pronounced dead at the scene.”

London’s air ambulance and paramedics were dispatched to the scene and a police cordon set up on the street. Medics battled to save the woman but her injuries proved fatal.

A London Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We were called at 1.09pm today (Monday 20) to reports of an incident in Cornwall Close, RM11.

“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.”

Ownership of American bully XL dogs is restricted under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

Since last December it has been against the law to sell, give away, abandon or breed bully XL dogs.

In February, it became a criminal offence to own an XL bully dog in England and Wales without an exemption certificate, meaning unregistered pets will be taken and owners possibly fined and prosecuted.

The Government move to ban XL bullies followed a series of attacks on people.

Last week, a mother and son were jailed after an eight-year-old boy was seriously injured in a “savage and sustained attack” by an XL bully dog.

The victim, who cannot be identified, suffered extensive injuries to his scalp, face and hands in the attack in the communal area of a block of flats in Wadham Road, Bootle, Merseyside, on February 10, Liverpool Crown Court heard.

Last month a woman in Scotland was “seriously hurt” after a bully-type dog launched an attack on her in the street.

In April the inquest into the death of a father-of-five who was mauled to death by an XL Bully he was looking after on behalf of a friend heard he had the “worst injuries a trauma doctor had ever seen”.

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