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Summary

  1. Boy dies after being bitten by a dog in Halstead
  2. It happened at Parker Way yesterday evening
  3. A 29-year-old woman has been arrested following the death
  4. MP James Cleverly calls it "an absolute body blow to everybody in the town"
  5. Updates on Friday, 19 August 2016

Live Reporting

By Jack Warren

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

Our live coverage of the fatal dog attack in Halstead has now come to an end. To recap:

  • A three-year-old boy named as Dexter Noel was killed after being mauled by a dog yesterday afternoon in Parker Way
  • A 29-year-old woman remains in police custody after being arrested on suspicion of allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control and injuring a person
  • An American Bulldog has been seized by police and is currently in kennels 

Any updates on this story will appear on the BBC News website over the weekend. 

See you again for more live news for Essex at 08:00 on Monday.

Dog legislation in this country is 'ridiculous'

K9 Magazine publisher Ryan O'Meara also told BBC Essex he thinks the current dangerous dog legislation in the UK is "ridiculous". 

Dangerous Dogs Act
Gov

"It tries to seek how dangerous a dog is by its breed, but you could have 90 American Bulldogs that are brilliant pets, and you could have one that has individual issues," he said.

"I've got three dogs, two of them are the same breed, and they're all very different in temperament", he said. 

American Bulldog: About the breed

American Bulldog
Thinkstock

The American Bulldog is part of the bull breed family, which includes dogs such as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, says K9 Magazine publisher Ryan O'Meara.

"People then cross them, which is when we get individual and distinct breeds," he said.

The American Bulldog does not feature on the UK's Dangerous Dogs Act list and the breed is not recognised by the Kennel Club. 

'Such sad news - thinking of you all at such a sad time'

Chris Flynn

BBC Essex

More flowers with tributes have been laid by locals as news spreads about the tragic events that took place in Halstead almost 24 hours ago.

flowers
BBC
Flowers
BBC

Police seized 7,000 dogs over five years

Dogs seize by police stats
Thinkstock

Braintree MP says rules around dog ownership 'need to be looked at'

James Cleverly, the Conservative MP for Braintree, has been to the scene at Parker Way, where he told the BBC he would examine the law to see how such attacks could be prevented in future.

James Cleverly talking to police officers
PA

"I'm very conscious that the original Dangerous Dogs Act was brought in in response to incidents just like this and I think most people agree it was not a particularly well-drafted piece of legislation," he said.

"I think the last thing we should do now is any kind of knee-jerk reaction, but we do need to look at the rules around dog ownership and also about how dogs are looked after - and particularly when there are children involved."

Earlier it was revealed an American Bulldog killed three-year-old Dexter Neal in Halstead. The breed is not on the list of banned dogs.

Dog bite hospital admissions on the rise

There has been a rise in the number of people admitted to hospital for dog attacks over the past five years in England and Wales, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics.

Dog bites
BBC

Dexter lived around the corner from where dog attack took place

Essex Police says dog attack victim Dexter Neal, three, lived around the corner from Parker Way in Ronald Road, Halstead.

We are told that family liaison officers have been deployed to support the family. 

Parker Way
BBC

Government urged to 'look again' at Dangerous Dogs Act

The World at One

BBC Radio 4

Following today's news, the Blue Cross has called for the government to "look again" at the Dangerous Dogs Act.

This content only works in the UK.

Animal welfare charity calls for government to rethink Dangerous Dog Act

BreakingBreed of dog identiftied as an American Bulldog

Police have also confirmed that the dog which killed Dexter Neal was an American Bulldog. 

The animal, which is not on the list banned dogs, has been seized by police and placed in kennels. 

BreakingBoy killed in fatal dog attack named as Dexter Neal

A three-year-old boy mauled in a fatal dog attack has been named as Dexter Neal by police.

More to follow. 

Dexter
Essex Police

Fatal dog attack: What we know so far

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

If you're just joining us, here's what we know so far about the fatal dog attack in Halstead:

  • Emergency services attended Parker Way after reports a boy was attacked by a dog
  • A three-year-old boy was airlifted to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, where he later died from his injuries
  • One neighbour said she "heard screams" but didn't associate it with anything "terrible"
  • A 29-year-old woman remains in police custody after being arrested on suspicion of allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control and injuring a person
  • A police cordon remains in place

'Terrible scenes' at fatal dog attack house

A man who dialled 999 after a boy was fatally attacked by a dog in Halstead has described the "terrible scenes" he saw. 

Scott Nowell, 19, said neighbours gathered around a "distraught" mother as people tried to save her son. 

The three-year-old boy later died in hospital.

This content only works in the UK.

Man who dialled 999 after a fatal Halstead dog attack describes 'terrible scenes'

Flowers laid outside Parker Way house

Chris Flynn

BBC Essex

People have begun laying flowers outside the house where a three-year-old boy was mauled by a dog.

Flowers
BBC

Kennel Club 'extremely saddened' by death of boy in dog attack

We've just received a statement from the Kennel Club on yesterday's dog attack in Halstead, in which a boy died.

It says: "Our thoughts and deepest condolences go to his family."

Parker Way
BBC

We're still awaiting confirmation on what breed the dog is. However, we do know it has been seized by police.

The world's press decends on a quiet Halstead

Chris Flynn

BBC Essex

Parker Way, a usually quiet street, is the subject of national media attention today. 

Press
BBC
Press
BBC

'You can never trust a dog 100%'

Shirley Diver
BBC

We're all fairly good dog lovers round here. We've all got dogs, I have, my neighbours have, we've got children as well, but I think it's like any dog, you can never trust a dog 100%. I don't care what dog it is. I think you always have to be aware that a child and a dog don't always go together."

Shirley DiverMayor of Halstead

Fatal dog attack: Latest pictures from Parker Way

Thomas Magill

BBC Essex

Evidence bag
BBC
Car
BBC
Car
BBC
Forensic
BBC

'It's just terrible. I just feel so sorry for them'

More Parker Way residents have been recalling yesterday afternoon's events.

Parker Way
BBC

Mother-of-five Lisa Smith, 43, said the family who lived at the address behind the police cordon "kept themselves to themselves" and had not been in the street as long as her other neighbours. 

"They're very private people, to be fair," she said. "It's just terrible. I just feel so sorry for them."   

'We're such a close community in Halstead'

You can hear more of the interview with neighbour Phyllis Younger below.

The 82-year-old said she heard screaming at about 17:45, with emergency services arriving shortly afterwards.

View more on twitter

Boy dies in Essex dog attack

A three-year-old boy dies after being bitten by a dog in Essex.
A three-year-old boy has died after he was bitten by a dog in Essex.

Essex police said it happened at a property in Parker Way, Halstead, at 17:40 on Thursday.

Forensic teams remain at the scene this morning.

Halstead death is the latest fatal dog attack

The death of a three-year-old boy in Halstead is the latest fatal attack by a dog in recent years.

David Ellam, 52, was out walking with his Yorkshire terrier close to his home in Huddersfield on Monday when he was attacked by another dog. He later died in hospital

In May, a 45-year-old man died after being attacked by his pet dog at his home in Cumbria.

Meanwhile, a mother and grandmother are due to be sentenced this month after a banned breed of dog killed a baby in Daventry, Northamptonshire, in 2014.

'An absolute body blow to everybody in the town'

The Conservative MP for Braintree, James Cleverly, says he was woken up with this morning's news about a boy being killed by a dog by a call from Essex Police. 

James Cleverly
BBC

I have children of my own, it's shocking and heart-breaking. It's the most terrible news that a parent can hear... This will be an absolute body blow to everybody in the town."

James CleverlyMP for Braintree

Parker Way is unusually 'quiet and sombre'

Chris Flynn

BBC Essex

I have been told Parker Way is usually a quiet street. But today, it is unusually quiet and sombre.

There is an address here which is cordoned off. Within the cordon, forensics officers are at work collecting evidence.

There is both the local and national media walking up and down the street, knocking on doors and quietly talking to people in the street.

Neighbour of fatal dog attack 'heard screaming'

Chris Flynn

BBC Essex

Residents in Parker Way are coming to terms with the fact that a three-year-old boy was killed by a dog here yesterday afternoon.

Parker Way
BBC

Neighbour Phyllis Young said: "I heard screaming, but I didn't associate it with anything terrible. It sounded like children having a bit of fun.

"It didn't seem to last long, then all of a sudden it was quiet. The next I knew about it was when I saw a police car and paramedics, so they didn't hang about."

"I was awake in the middle of the night, and all I could think about was those screams," she said.

Breed of dog not yet confirmed

Essex Police says it's still trying to establish what the breed of dog was that killed a three-year-old boy in Halstead yesterday.

Map of Halstead in relation to London
BBC

Fatal dog attack: Forensic teams at Parker Way

Chris Flynn

BBC Essex

Forensics
BBC

Forensic officers and police have cordoned off a house on Parker Way in Halstead, after a boy died in a dog attack. 

Parker Way
BBC
Police
BBC

Dog attack 'heart-breaking', says mayor of Halstead

Shirley Diver, the mayor of Halstead, said yesterday's fatal dog attack was "heart-breaking".

"It’s dreadful news, it really is. I've had dogs all my life and I don't think you can ever trust a dog 100% with any child," she said.

"It's so sad. I feel so sad for the family who are involved. Words can't express how it affects anybody. The whole town is in shock."

BreakingBoy who died in fatal dog attack was aged three

The boy who died in a fatal dog attack in Halstead yesterday was three years old, police have confirmed.

How fatal dog attack is being reported elsewhere

As we await more information on this breaking story, here is what other news outlets in Essex and nationally are reporting.

Papers
BBC

Reporter heading to dog attack scene

We've got a reporter on his way to Halstead now, where a boy has died following an attack by a dog.

We'll keep you updated as soon as they get there.

Where is Halstead?

Halstead is a traditional market town located in the Braintree District of Essex. 

It sits on the Essex-Suffolk border close to Colchester and Sudbury, in the Colne Valley.

Halstead
BBC

Young child was airlifted to hospital

Parker Way
Google

The young boy was airlifted to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge following the dog attack yesterday.

The East of England Ambulance Service said: "Sadly, despite the best efforts of everyone involved, the child has died. Our thoughts are with the family involved at this time."

Fatal dog attack: What we know so far

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

We're getting more and more information on this fatal dog attack -  here's what we know about it so far: 

  • A boy, whose age is not yet known, was attacked by a dog in Parker Way, Halstead, at about 17:40 yesterday
  • He later died in hospital from his injuries
  • A 29-year-old woman remains in police custody after being arrested on suspicion of allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control and injuring a person
  • The dog has been seized by police and remains in kennels 

Boy died in hospital from his injuries

The boy, who was fatally attacked by a dog, died in hospital from his injuries, Essex Police said. 

A woman, 29, remains in police custody after she was arrested for allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control and injuring a person.

Dog has been seized by police

It has been confirmed the attack happened in Parker Way, Halstead. The dog has been seized by police and placed in kennels.

Map
BBC

Fatal dog attack happened in residential street

The attack happened at a property in a residential street in Halstead at about 17:40 yesterday afternoon.

Woman, 29, arrested after boy dies in Halstead dog attack

A 29-year-old woman has been arrested for allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control. 

It comes after a boy died after being bitten in Halstead.

Details at this moment in time are limited. We are currently trying to find out more information and will bring it to you as soon as we get it.