XL bully dog attack: Neighbour describes scene after woman killed in own home

The neighbour of a woman killed by two XL bully dogs described silence turning into sudden commotion on her street after the attack.

The woman, who was in her 50s and named locally as Angel Mahal, was killed in her home in Cornwall Close in Hornchurch, east London, just after 1pm on Monday.

Horrified onlookers saw medical teams administering CPR to the dog owner.

Sejal Solanki, who lives opposite the house, said she heard a helicopter overhead, with police cars, dogs barking and "so many people".

"It went from silence to all this commotion, an air ambulance came," she told Sky News.

"Initially, I thought it was a raid, but then as soon as the blue tent went up and they'd sectioned it all off… obviously I knew something serious had happened here."

While she didn't know Ms Mahal personally, she said she knew she was a "nice lady" and used to walk her dogs regularly on a lead.

Anyone who owns an XL bully dog must have had the animal neutered, microchipped, muzzled and on a lead in public, among other restrictions.

The government move to ban XL bullies followed a series of attacks.

According to the Office for National Statistics, there were 16 deaths due to dog attacks last year, a sharp rise from preceding years, when the number had been in single figures.

As of late 2023, around 60% of dogs held in police kennels were a bull breed of some kind.

'Some can be horrible, some aren't'

Aimee Marston, who lives on Cornwall Close, said she had never seen the dogs, despite being a regular dog walker herself.

She told Sky News she had never seen XL bully dogs or any wearing a muzzle in the area, which she said "feels strange".

She added she doesn't believe any dogs are inherently vicious purely according to breed, but they do all have the ability to cause harm.

"I think any dog has the capacity to be vicious and I don't think that's based on breed, I think it's based on different circumstances," she said.

"Personally, I don't think there are any inherently bad breeds, I think it's the same with people. Some people can be horrible and some aren't, it's just natural."

Read more:
22 dogs seized - with most believed to be XL bullys
Campaigners against XL bully ban allowed court action

This attack comes after mother and son Amanda Young, 49, and Lewis Young, 30, were jailed last week after an eight-year-old boy was injured in a "savage and sustained attack" by their XL bully.

The boy 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 10 February.