Family warn XL Bully owners after ‘kind-hearted’ mother killed by pets

Angeline Mahal was found dead at home by her two sons, according to a relative

Barney Davis
Tuesday 21 May 2024 20:15 BST
Neighbour of woman killed by XL bully dog warned children not to go near them

The family of a “kind-hearted” mother killed by one of her registered XL Bully dogs have urged other owners to give up the breed if they show a hint of aggression.

Angeline Mahal, believed to be in her fifties, was attacked by her two dogs at the semi-detached home in Cornwall Close in Hornchurch just after 1pm on Monday.

Armed police attended the scene and told neighbours in the cul-de-sac to stay indoors before the area was evacuated shortly after 4pm.

Despite London Ambulance Service sending paramedics and a helicopter, the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

Angeline Mahal was attacked by a dog at her home in Cornwall Close
Angeline Mahal was attacked by a dog at her home in Cornwall Close (Supplied)

A sticker in the front window of the mother-of-two’s home reads: “Never mind the dog. Beware the kids.”

A neighbour described how two of the beautician’s sons found her lying in the hallway with fatal injuries inflicted by her beloved dogs.

A relative, who wished to remain anonymous, feared Angeline - known as Angel to friends - had been dead for many hours before she was discovered.

He told The Sun: “We miss her, she was sincere and loved by everyone.

“We asked her to get rid of the dogs. The bond with owners and their dogs is too strong.”

A police cordon pictured at the home in Cornwall Close, Hornchurch, east London
A police cordon pictured at the home in Cornwall Close, Hornchurch, east London (William Warnes/PA Wire)

He said: “She had two dogs from when they were puppies. They were registered. It was more likely to have been one of them attacked her.

“We are just shocked. You hear about these attacks in a paper but you never expect this to happen to your own family.”

He added: “There’s something I want to make clear and it’s that anyone who has XL Bully-type dog needs to do the right thing if they spot their pets becoming aggressive and give them up.

“I know it’s hard because people have such an attachment - but we wouldn’t want any other family to go through this. We miss Angeline. She was a sincere person with such a kind heart.”

Another neighbour told The Evening 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 called her Ange - she was a gentle person who was quiet and humble. We are all reeling from this. It’s just so sad.”

She was pronounced dead at the scene
She was pronounced dead at the scene (William Warnes/PA Wire)

On Tuesday afternoon, Ms Mahal was named locally, as His Majesty’s Coroners East London confirmed they had been made aware of her death.

Both dogs were registered as exempt from the government’s ban on XL Bully dogs, which came in on 1 February after a series of attacks.

Under the agreement for having a dog exempt, owners must have had the animal neutered, have it microchipped and keep it muzzled and on a lead in public.

But one neighbour, Sejal Solanki, said she had warned her child about going near the dogs.

She said: “I said ‘Don’t ever touch those dogs. They’re dangerous’.”

A blue forensic tent was put up outside the Ms Mahal’s home, which is in a small residential street.

Police said she was pronounced dead at the scene and the two registered dogs were seized after being contained in a room.

According to the Office for National Statistics, there were 16 deaths due to dog attacks in 2023, a sharp rise from preceding years where 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.

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