A grandmother has been savaged to death by two dogs which her daughter claims are “XL bullies”.

Police said that 68-year-old Esther Martin from Woodford Green was attacked at a home in Jaywick, Essex, on Saturday afternoon (January 3).

Ms Martin was fatally wounded when visiting her 11-year-old grandson, after she was allegedly told to play with the puppies by putting “a broom in among them, to distract them”.

The victim’s daughter, Sonia Martin, has claimed that the dogs were 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.

She told the BBC: “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."

Essex Police Chief Superintendent Glen Pavelin confirmed that there was a “familial relationship” between the victim and a 39-year-old man arrested on suspicion of dangerous dog offences.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: The attack happened at a home in Jaywick, EssexThe attack happened at a home in Jaywick, Essex (Image: PA)

Officers arrived within minutes of being called, he said, and both dogs were destroyed inside the house.

Neighbours have described hearing “horrific” screaming from the property lasting 10 minutes.

Lucy Shaw, 38, who lives nearby, told PA: “We went out into the garden and it was all quiet and then we heard dogs barking, and then we heard someone screaming.

“It seemed like the screaming of a child. That went on for about 10 minutes.

“We went back in after a while because it sounded horrific.”

Mike Coleman, 74, who lives a few doors down, said he saw a man come down the road to the address and start shouting.

He said: “He is really shouting and hallowing, he was really, really loud. Then he starts whacking at the windows. He appeared panicked.

“He said ‘phone the police’. My wife phoned them but they said they had someone else on the phone.

“Minutes later the police came – two cars, then three then five, and then they blocked the road off.

“I heard the shots of them being destroyed, then that was it.”

Chief Superintendent Pavelin added that his thoughts “remain with everyone” affected by the attack.

Some reporting by PA.