Man dies after suspected attack by XL bully

By John Mercury October 4, 2023

A 54-year-old man who was attacked by a dog in Sunderland has died and a murder investigation has been launched, according to Northumbria Police.

The dog is believed to have been an XL bully – and was shot by police at the scene.

Residents in Shiney Row, where the incident took place, said they saw paramedics attending to the man’s severely injured throat after Tuesday’s attack.

Police activity on Maple Terrace in Shiney Row near Sunderland where a man in his 50s was seriously injured in a dog attack on Tuesday evening. The dog was "destroyed at the scene to ensure the safety of the public", and a second dog was also seized from the address as a precaution. Picture date: Wednesday October 4, 2023.
Police attended the scene of the attack

The man died despite the efforts of hospital medics to save his life.

A 44-year-old man was initially arrested on suspicion of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm – but following the man’s death, he was re-arrested on suspicion of murder.

Following the attack, police seized a second dog at the property as a precaution.

The suspect remains in police custody.

Read more:
Two XL bully dogs shot dead after killing 22 pregnant sheep

Bully XL owner defends breed but calls for tougher laws

One man local to the area said he frequently saw two XL bullies being walked in the vicinity.

He said: “I have seen the two dogs before, they are well known in the area, an older one and a younger one.

“They shot the older one in the yard.”

Detective Chief Inspector Angela Hudson of Northumbria Police said: “First and foremost, I would like to extend my sincere condolences to the man’s family and loved ones.

“This is an absolutely tragic incident, and we will continue to offer them support in any way that we can.”

She added that there was “no ongoing risk” to the wider community and officers would remain in the area to offer reassurance.

The incident is the latest in a string of dog attacks in the UK.

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Could American XL bully dogs be banned?

On Monday morning, a toddler was bitten by a dog in Greenwich, while a man died last month after being attacked by two dogs in Staffordshire.

An attack last month on an 11-year-old girl in Birmingham, which left her with shoulder and arm injuries, led to the arrest of a 60-year-old man on suspicion of possessing a dog dangerously out of control.

It comes as the prime minister vowed to expand the list of banned dogs to include American XL bullies, prompting protests by owners.

Rishi Sunak has promised to ban the breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act by the end of the year.


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